GLEN ELLYN, IL — Local activists and state legislative candidates met in Glen Ellyn on Saturday to discuss solutions to the gun violence epidemic in Illinois. Illinois Senate candidate Suzy Glowiak (D-Western Springs) and Illinois House of Representatives candidate Terra Costa-Howard (D-Glen Ellyn) joined Illinois 6th Congressional District Students Say Enough as well as experts from the fields of education and law enforcement for a round table discussion.

“We have to keep an open dialogue about gun violence in our communities,” Glowiak said. “We have to insist that our schools, places of worship, shopping malls, movie theatres, concert venues, nightclubs, workplaces and communities are safe. We have to believe that we can come together to prevent gun violence.”

Illinois 6th Students Say Enough is a group of students who hope to help create safer communities and schools through action and policy. For their stances on gun violence prevention, Glowiak and Costa-Howard have both earned Moms Demand Action’s “Gun Sense Candidate” distinction.

“Most people don’t realize the level of fear that the gun violence epidemic creates for American students” said Anisha Narain of Illinois 6th Students Say Enough. “At the roundtable, we were able to not only communicate the classroom perspective, but also show people that they can take action to help us by voting and by being compassionate.”

At the event, community members discussed the epidemic of gun violence and its many symptoms including mass shootings, domestic violence and gang violence. Participants offered solutions including working with neighboring states to stop the flow of illegal firearms into Illinois, hardening schools and dedicating more resources to address mental illness and trauma in young people.

“Our students should be able to sit in their classrooms and learn without fear of attack from an armed assailant,” Costa-Howard said. “Schools are supposed to be safe places where students can study subjects that will prepare them for future success, and where they can grow into active, well-informed members of their communities. We all need to listen to each other and work together to craft commonsense gun laws that will keep our children safe.”