Hundreds of protesters say 'enough' to Chicago's gun violence

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Hundreds of Chicago residents are saying "enough" after at least 40 people were shot, 3 fatally, across the city this weekend.

Protesters gathered in Federal Plaza Sunday to call on lawmakers to do something about Chicago's gun violence.

"I go through my pain every single day. I cry for children that I don't even know," said Delphine Cherry, a survivor mother and advocate for Brady United. "We need to stop pretending it's okay and it's normal because it's not."

RELATED: 40 shot, 3 fatally since Friday evening in Chicago weekend shootings

A crowd full of activists, family members who lost loved ones, survivors and legislators demanded that something more be done to stop the epidemic they say is destroying the city and country.

"You have to look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself what are you willing to risk and sacrifice and fight for, for true change," said Anthony Clark, a community organizer and gun violence survivor.

"I am not going to stand on the House floor another time and ask for thoughts and prayers without policy to back it up," said State Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Addison.

The rally was held on the same day that Chicago police released photos of weapons taken off city streets, including hand guns, rifles and ammunition.

While gun legislation is one aspect of reform, a speaker and survivor said the solution also includes focusing on mental health and Chicago's underserved communities.

"Before we do anything about guns, we need to also heal people's minds and spirits," said Paris "Tree" Brown, of student advocacy group Good Kids Mad City.

Brown said people who aren't "living in our communities" don't "fully understand what we're going through."

"They don't know how it feels to be able to get a gun quicker than you can get a job," he said.

Everyone at the protest agreed that the answer must promote unity.

"When we think about guns, we think about all of the lives that have been lost across America," said Pastor Brenda Mitchell. "Not one of us can do what all of us can do together."
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