`What more do we require?` to stop violence, Jackson asks - FOX 32 News Chicago

Rev. Jackson holds vigil, asks to stop violence

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Whether it be a mass casualty shooting at a school or other public space in the United States or the regularly occurring gun violence on the streets of Chicago, "the people who are civilized must care enough to stop it now," the Rev. Jesse Jackson said on Saturday.

While speaking to the audience at the Saturday morning forum at Rainbow-PUSH headquarters on the South Side, Jackson reflected on Friday's shooting in Connecticut, as well as the ongoing violence on the streets of Chicago.

Noting that, "It's easier (in the United States) to buy a gun than a cup of coffee," Jackson said, "none of us are safe until all of us are safe. These military assault weapons have no place in society."

"You don't hunt with semi-automatic weapons," Jackson said. "These are designed to kill people."

Jackson wondered aloud how many more senseless acts of gun violence "do we require?" before something is done to stop such events from occurring again. "We are the most violent nation on earth," he said. "We make the most guns and we shoot them, we make the most bullets and we fire them."

Tying together the deaths of the children in Connecticut and all the young people who have died from gun violence in Chicago, Jackson said, "the people who are civilized must care enough to stop it now."

He also mentioned the bill that passed the Michigan legislature on Thursday that would allow those with concealed carry permits to bring guns into schools, churches, and daycare centers. "We're going to fight that," Jackson said.

At a South Side Vigil Monday led by Jackson Jr., many prayed that thee tragedy in Connecticut will cause lawmakers to take a strong stand against assault weapons.

"There are 158,000 gun shops in America, more than restaurants in the whole world," Jackson said.

Alderman Will Burns says legislators are afraid to act because the gun lobby is too powerful. In Chicago, as of December 10th, Jackson says 485 people have been killed in gun violence—more than 100 of them under the age of 18.

"When I was 17 years old, I was carjacked. I laid down on the payment and the young man decided not to kill me," Burns said. "We have to break the stronghold the National Rifle Association has on Springfield. We should find out if someone has a mental illness before they can buy a gun."

Willie Williams came to the Push rally Monday because the man convicted of killing his 17-year-old son, was sentenced today to 110 years in prison.

"It just takes you there all over again," Williams said of the Connecticut shooting. "And you just feel sorry for their families. I don't feel like we have enough people out here to really try to stop this."

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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