Survivors of mass shootings in Highland Park, East Garfield Park voice support for proposed assault weapon ban
On the surface, Highland Park and East Garfield Park don’t have much in common.
But in the past six months, both the affluent, largely white North Shore suburb and the impoverished, largely Black neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side have been devastated by mass shootings. In both cases, assailants fired into crowds, killing seven and wounding dozens more in Highland Park on the Fourth of July and killing one and injuring 13 others in East Garfield Park on Halloween night.
Two survivors of those shootings — Lauren Bennett, who was shot twice in Highland Park, and Conttina Phillips, who was shot in the leg in East Garfield Park — were among those voicing support Monday for a proposal from Illinois House Democrats to ban the sale of certain assault-style guns and large-capacity magazines and to bar most people under 21 from getting gun permits.
Bennett and Phillips shared their stories during the first of three planned hearings on the measure, which House Democrats hope to pass when they return to Springfield for a brief lame-duck session just after the new year. Gun rights advocates are expected to testify at a future hearing.
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