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          By: Nevaeh Richardson

Gun violence is at an all-time high in Chicago with at least 24 victims, including three fatalities this past weekend.

One of the youngest victims of this senseless violence included 7-year-old Jaslyn Adams, who was shot six times as she waited in the drive-thru of McDonald’s with her father, Jontae Adams, on Sunday afternoon.

A responding officer rushed the first-grader to Stroger Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 4:39 p.m.

Her father suffered a gunshot to the torso and is currently at the same hospital in serious condition. Investigators believe the father was the target and that the attack was gang-related. A witness claims he saw two people step out of a silver Audi and begin firing at the Adams.

“She loved to sing and dance,” said Lawanda McMullen, Jaslyn Adams’ grandmother. “She loved to make TikTok videos and play games on the phone. She was real sweet and lovable. She was a fun, free-spirited little girl.”

Chicago’s Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, tweeted about the incident:

I am heartbroken and angered that a 7-year-old child was killed this afternoon on Chicago’s West Side. This unthinkable act of violence has no place here. The epidemic of gun violence cutting our children’s lives short cannot go on.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) April 19, 2021

Over a hundred people gathered on Monday at the McDonalds where the Adams’ were attacked to honor the short, joy-filled life of Jaslyn. The vigil included a balloon release, and pleas from community leaders and family members for the shooters to turn themselves in.

Another attack less than three hours later at a Popeye’s restaurant drive-thru lead police to believe the two shootings were related. The 33-year-old man and 19-year-old woman had just finished ordering food when a gunman opened fire. The man suffered a gunshot wound in the leg while the woman was shot in the abdomen. They were also taken to Stroger Hospital where the man was placed in serious condition and the woman in critical condition.

Nonfatal attacks on Sunday included two men, 37 and 38, and a 17-year-old girl.

The men were in a parked gray sedan when a shooter in a white sedan opened fire.

The two men were transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition.

According to police, the 17-year-old was in a vehicle early Sunday when two men exited and began shooting. The teen was shot i the head and was transported to Mt. Sinai Hospital in fair condition.

As if those shootings weren’t enough for one day, two men were shot on a sidewalk by an unidentified male in a silver SUV Sunday night, authorities said.

One of the victims, 43, was shot in the chest and died. The man has not yet been identified.

The other man, 22, was shot in the leg and was transported to the hospital in good condition.

Friday night, a shooting occurred at a business leaving an 18-year-old man dead and a 44-year-old woman with a gunshot wound on the shoulder.

According to the Chicago Tribune, 864 people have been shot this year in the Illinois metropolitan.

Mayor Lightfoot, frustrated by the availability of guns, is calling for federal gun control legislation, but will her pleas fall on deaf ears? In a nation where individual rights are placed over the common welfare of citizens, can we expect a change in gun violence and regulation? How many more mass shootings and deaths by guns do we have to endure before our government takes responsibility for the safety of Americans?

Chicago is only one of many cities around the nation with an increase in gun violence, and we can be sure that without regulation, the number of gun-related deaths are bound to surge.