The moratorium coincides with the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and is intended to promote peace, justice and nonviolence.
One councilmember called the moratorium a silly notion and was skeptical about it's chances for success.
"Those people who normally kill -- if they don't respect the murder laws, why would they respect a moratorium?" asked Councilman Richard Alarcon.
Curtailing crime, activists say, begins with dialogue. They recall a time eight years ago: the shooting death of Lori Gonzalez, the granddaughter of then police chief Bernard Parks. Community pressure on the young gunslingers produced a period of calm.
"We are not asking for law enforcement to step up. We are asking for the people of the community -- it's your turn to be responsible," said activist Lita Sister Herron.