While the gun violence continues across the nation and in Chicago, with the shooting of Gary London, a “faithful” long-time member of Saint Sabina Catholic Church, several members of the church pastored by Father Michael Pfleger were invited to attend President Biden’s “celebration” of a new bipartisan law aimed at reducing gun violence.
President Biden’s “celebration” of the bipartisan Safer Communities Act was Monday, July 11, at the White House. Since Biden’s signing of the bill on June 25, 2022, that victory has been overshadowed by the Highland Park mass shooting on July 4, where seven people were killed and dozens injured. The shootings continued in Chicago, including one involving a Saint Sabina member.
Father Pfleger on Sunday told his congregation about Gary London’s near fatal shooting.
“I spent Saturday night in the hospital emergency room,” Pfleger said, revealing that it was London who was shot while entering a property he owns at 66th and Stewart.
Pfleger said London was leaving out the back gate in the alley when a boy rode by on a bike and fired off four shots, one of them hitting London.
“Life is so fragile,” Pfleger said. “Thank God only one of them hit him. Thank God it went into the shoulder and missed the lung, and by the grace of the blood of Jesus, he’s all right.
“All he was doing in the ambulance was thanking God,” Pfleger said of London, who was taken to the University of Chicago Hospital.
According to Pfleger, London was discharged from the hospital with the bullet still in him. “That just shows you how fragile life is.
Pfleger said while sitting in the emergency room, he saw “all of the pain of the people with gunshots, families hurt. It was so overwhelming.”
Late Saturday night, Pfleger said he went with London’s neighbor to pick up his car in the same alley where London had been shot.
London is not the first Saint Sabina parishioner who has been shot. He was lucky to survive being shot at four times, but others did not survive.
Pam Bosley, the mother of Terrell Bosley, 18, who was fatally shot on April 4, 2006, outside a South Side church, and her son Tre, a Saint Sabina Brave New Leader member, attended Monday’s White House celebration. Following her son’s death, Bosley founded the Purpose Over Pain group to mentor and console parents who have lost their children to gun violence.
In an early Sunday morning interview while she was en route to Washington, D.C., Bosley said, “People are coming from different states. It’s a big celebration on the bipartisan bill.”
When asked her feelings on Biden’s signing the bill, the first federal major legislation passed in almost 30 years, Bosley said, “It was bittersweet because it took 30 years for this to happen.
“We have a long way to go, but I am glad we’re getting something passed. Hopefully, it will move things in the right situation. It should have happened a long time ago,” she said.
Bosley’s message was clear, “It’s been a long time coming, but we can’t get comfortable with this signing. We need some quick action, like a total ban on assault weapons and more gun bills passed. Chicago has strong gun laws, but we need more laws passed on the federal level.”
That is easier said than done, as Republicans have been blocking passage of gun reform bills. However, after the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two adults were killed, and a similar event in Buffalo, New York at a grocery store where 10 Blacks were killed, the House passed the bill with a 234-193 vote that included 14 Republicans. The Senate also passed the bill.
Chicago Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt, whose 16-year-old son, Blair Holt, was shot while aboard a CTA bus on May 10, 2007, also attended the “celebration.”