Evanston to host community forum on gun violence Thursday

Ben Pope, Managing Editor

Mayor Steve Hagerty will host a community forum to discuss Evanston residents’ concerns about gun violence on Thursday.

The event, which will be held at 7 p.m. at the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, is intended to gather ideas for concrete actions that Evanston officials and residents can take to combat gun violence, according to a news release.

“As a community and as a country, we have to do better,” Hagerty wrote in the release. “I look forward to hearing your input and working together as a community towards real progress on this issue.”

The meeting comes as public attention towards and outrage about the issue of gun control is escalating, in response to both national and local tragedies.

Last week, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida — the latest of several high-profile school shootings in recent years. Cruz’s actions and possession of an AR-15 assault-style rifle despite red flags in his behavior have ignited a nationwide discussion about the pros and cons of increasing gun control.

In Evanston, Evanston Township High School graduate Yakez Semark was shot and killed on Feb. 8 in what police described, following an investigation, as a planned marijuana exchange gone wrong. Evanston police charged two people in connection with the homicide on Saturday.

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