CHICAGO (CBS) — With summer approaching and the expected rise in street violence, doctors at Stroger Hospital are bracing for an increase in gunshot victims and calling for national action on gun control.
Orange was the favorite color of 15-year-old Hadiyah Pendeleton, the Chicago teenager murdered in 2015.
This weekend event organizers are seeking to highlight gun violence with a “wear orange” weekend.
Dr. Faran Bokhari, Stroger Hospital’s Trauma Chief, said, “I’m not sure how much awareness is necessary because gun violence in the U.S. is obvious and deadly.”
Every year, Stroger treats around 1,000 gunshot victims, treating about 20 to 25 trauma victims every day, but the daily victims have been increasing every day.
“30 to 40% [increase] in the summer,” said Stroger’s Chief Trauma Nurse Rebecca Powers. “Especially with the gunshot wounds and stabbings, which are most likely are more critical patients.”
Chicago Police say in May, gun violence dropped for the fifteenth month in a row, with 52 fewer murders overall this year than in 2017.
In Springfield, lawmakers recently passed bills licensing gun dealers, creating a 72 hour waiting period to purchase all firearms. Both measures are awaiting Governor Rauner’s signatures.
Stroger doctors say only national actin can stop illegal guns from flowing to Illinois from other states.
“I would advocate for not accepting the status quo on the gun debate, as these weapons are efficient at killing and must be limited in a civil society,” said Dr. Bokhari.
Statistics provided by the Justice Department and the ATF indicate that Indiana is the source for the most guns trafficked into Illinois, with Missouri coming in second place, and Wisconsin in third.