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Cook County Alliance Pledges to Fight to Pass Assault Weapons Referendum

Thursday, August 10, 2006
Special to suffredin.org

Chicago, IL * A coalition of anti-violence groups today pledged to work hard to
ensure that Cook County voters send a powerful message to state legislators this
fall:† They want assault weapons off the streets. A referendum on the subject is
on the Cook County ballot for election day November 7.†

Joining together this morning at the Cook County Morgue, they pledged time,
funding and volunteers to push for passage of the referendum.† Referring to
where they were gathered, Jennifer Bishop, State Director for the Brady Campaign
to Prevent Gun Violence said "we're tired of Cook County children ending up
here.† And we'll do whatever it take to get the state legislature to follow the
will of the people, instead of the orders of the special interest gun lobby."

Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin joined Bishop, Cook County Sheriff
Candidate Tom Dart and Siretha Woods and Denise Reed, the mothers of young
Englewood assault weapons victims.† The supporters of the referendum say they're
raising money to support the referendum push.† "We want to send a clear message
to the Legislature," Suffredin said.†

The referendum will be in the form of an instruction to the State Legislature to
act to ban assault weapons from public sale in Illinois.† It will read "For the
health and safety of children and the entire community, shall the State of
Illinois enact a comprehensive ban on the manufacture, sale, delivery and
possession of military-style assault weapons and .50 caliber rifles?"

Deanna Woods, who at a child's birthday party earlier this year threw herself
over children to shield them from the gunfire that killed her niece, Siretha
White, said she will never forget how "the bullets kept coming and coming."
Denise Reed, the mother of Starkesia Reed, said "we've got to get rid of these
weapons so no other mothers go through what we've gone through."

State Representative Edward Acevedo is the chief sponsor in Springfield of a
bill to ban the weapons.† He could not attend the event, but sent assurances
that he is committed to get it passed next year.

As the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight
to prevent gun violence, the Brady Campaign, working with its dedicated network
of Million Mom March Chapters, is devoted to creating an America free from gun
violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our
communities.

###


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