Chicago, IL – Jen Walling, Executive Director of the Illinois Environmental Council released the following statement on the tragedy in Uvalde, TX:
“It is beyond time for meaningful gun control reform. What happened yesterday has happened before and will again if obstructionists in power do nothing. It’s clear to me that our vision for a safe & livable planet for us all is impossible without safety from gun violence.”
“And why would an environmental organization care about gun violence? Because our work and gun violence are connected. For example:
- Gun violence, pollution and the climate crisis are all public health crises.
- Just as marginalized communities too often bear the brunt of pollution and environmental racism, the victims of racialized gun violence in America are often these same communities. Authentic allyship calls us to see the communities we’re standing with for the full scope of who they are and what they face.
- Our work is ultimately about making our world safer, healthier and habitable for people and nature. Unchecked gun violence makes that impossible.
- Climate Action is deeply rooted in hope for future generations. Young people are our climate leaders and to fight for their future alongside them means calling for meaningful gun control.
- Public places and spaces should be safe and accessible to everyone.
- Political corruption and industry’s powerful financial contributions have federal progress on both gun control and climate in a chokehold, despite public opinion among a majority of Americans.
We want to be very clear about how we understand our role in the fight for a healthy and just world for everyone in Illinois to enjoy. While we protect natural spaces and wildlife, for example, our responsibility extends beyond that work. That’s why IEC supports federal gun control reform. That’s why we have to say something about this. If you share our understanding of what environmental work looks like, good. We’re going to need every concerned Illinoisan to join the push for a safe, liveable and just future. Now.”