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Chicagoans Will Rally Against The NRA, Hold Vigil For Las Vegas Victims Next Week

By Stephen Gossett in News on Oct 6, 2017 5:40PM

Gun-control activists rally outside the headquarters of the National Rifle Association on July 14, 2017. Getty Images / Photo: Alex Wong

Roughly a week after a gunman killed 58 people and injured hundreds more in Las Vegas, Chicagoans will rally to protest the National Rifle Association's opposition to gun-control legislation and mourn the victims of the mass shooting.

The Reject The NRA Rally and Vigil for Las Vegas, which takes place Monday at Federal Plaza (219 S. Dearborn St.), beginning at 4:30 p.m. will include speaker appearances by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL, 9th District), gubernatorial candidate and state senator Daniel Biss and Mark Walsh, of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, among others, according to the event page.

The event is organized by Moms Demand Action—which was founded in 2012 in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre "to demand action from legislators, state and federal; companies; and educational institutions to establish common-sense gun reforms"—along with Indivisible Chicago, Women's March Illinois and others.

Organizers wrote:

"The horrific shooting in Las Vegas forces us as a nation to decide: Will we accept the status quo and allow mass shootings and gun homicides to be the backdrop to our daily lives? Or do we want to live in a country where we can go to the movies or a concert or school or work or church and be safe from gun violence?

We choose to honor the victims and survivors in Las Vegas by demanding that Congress reject the NRA leadership's radical and dangerous agenda for more guns for more people in more places."

Calls for increased gun-control legislation have ramped up again in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting. The NRA has long stood athwart such calls, routinely invoking the slippery slope argument that gun legislation will self-compound until the Second Amendment is invalidated. The organization did however endorse on Thursday tighter restrictions against "bump stocks," a step that the New York Times called "rare, if small."

Chicago found itself thrust again in the gun-control spotlight when White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday deflected questions on the matter by stating that our city has been plagued by gun violence despite having the "strictest gun laws in the country." Chicago in fact does not have the strictest gun laws in the country. Tougher measures have been struck down by courts or overwritten by state law, and Chicago's laws are generally comparable to other major cities.

It was revealed on Thursday that Las Vegas mass shooter Stephen Paddock booked rooms at a hotel overlooking Lollapalooza, but never showed up.

Schakowsky on Monday called for stricter gun legislation at the national level.