Colorado residents call for common sense gun legislation

13 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Moms’ march against gun violence 3 years after Sandy Hook.

Hundreds gathered in Denver’s Cheesman Park Pavilion and outside First Plymouth Congregational and First Universalist churches to advocate for stricter gun regulations Despite the slushy sidewalk and the call to attend holiday parties, they gathered outside First Plymouth Congregational and First Universalist churches at the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Hampden Avenue for a candlelight vigil to honor the victims of gun violence. Monday marks the third anniversary of one of America’s darkest days: the day Adam Lanza shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and gunned down 20 children and six adults in the deadliest mass shooting at an elementary or high school in U.S. history. It’s been 3 years ago since that shooting but just to raise awareness for gun violence, that 88 people are shot every day in the United States and we just want to hold our leaders accountable that they must do something to make us safer,” Connie Coartney said. “A mom in Indianapolis Shannon Watts sat and watched with horror what was happening and decided she must do something so she started a Facebook page and it just kind of spread from there,” Coartney said.

Twenty little boys and girls, all between the ages of 6 and 7, as well as six staff members at the school, were shot and killed before Lanza killed himself with a gunshot to the head. Signs were held high in the air, some bearing the names of victims and others covered in orange stickers reading, “End gun violence.” “It’s all because there’s way too many guns out,” he said, also noting that the Boston Police Department has recovered about 800 illegal firearms this year, and around 1,100 the year before. Religious leaders in Jersey City have staged public vigils in the wake of gun deaths – and they have publicly challenged the police department to meet with them to discuss the spate of gun deaths in that city (23 so far in 2015). “We have had enough” has become a rallying cry from the streets. The evening event was organized by Colorado Faith Communities United to End Gun Violence, a coalition of 39 religious groups, said Jerry Arca, a co-chairman and a member at First Plymouth. The group, founded by an Indiana mother, seeks to put an end to gun violence in the country by continuing the conversation through events that engage the public.

Coartney says the color orange has become the color of the gun violence prevention movement partially because orange is the color hunters wear to warn other hunters not to shoot. Like parents of elementary-school children everywhere — not to mention just about everyone else — Davis resident Kristin Lofstrom spent that day in a state of horror.

Some protesters, like David Kaplan, 39, and Jessica Kaplan, 38, of Arlington, brought along their families, stressing the importance changes in gun policy could have on their children and younger generations. “I think there is a happy medium between what we have now and what the Second Amendment was referring to,” David Kaplan said as he pushed his two young children in a stroller along the walk. “I think the pendulum needs to swing back to the left.” Generally, Moms Demand Action opposes guns on school campuses and putting firearms in the hands of domestic abusers, while supporting universal background checks. While much of that work has been done in Massachusetts, the organization hopes to push the agenda on the national scale. “We’ve rejected the gun lobby’s vision for our country,” Molly Malloy, the leader of Moms Demand Action’s Massachusetts chapter. “We are taking back our country.” Massachusetts State Representative David Linsky stood before the crowd on the State House steps, urging those present to vote with gun control legislation in mind. Philip’s Cathedral, located at Military Park in Newark, nearly 200 t-shirts will be displayed on the fence surrounding the building, each one bearing the name, birth date and death date of someone in Essex County whose life has been cut short by gun violence. A soft-spoken mother of two young boys, Lofstrom decided she had to do something after the mass shooting in San Bernardino earlier this month and the U.S. Dereasha Leaks said, “Come out to these events and stop talking about what you could do or what you want to do, but come out and find out what you can and now.

When Colorado resident Jane Dougherty shared an impassioned speech about her sister, Mary Sherlach, who was killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting, Rayan asked why Dougherty was crying. Poverty is a manifestation of economic violence; racism is a mindset of enshrining the rights and privileges of one ethnic group over another, which engages psychological or spiritual violence at least, or gun violence at worst. And gun violence is often either a destructive and tragically violent rebellion to the scourge of poverty and racism, or a hateful exercise in reinforcing it.

Papenfuse said, “We have to work together to solve this problem through compassion and understanding, and love and commitment, and not through violence.” About 100 walks will take place this weekend across the country. Megan Sullivan-Jenks, the younger sister of Aurora theater shooting victim Alex Sullivan, braved the snowy weather and freezing temperatures to take a stand. Chris Christie’s veto of S2360, which would provide police departments the discretion to deny a gun permit to someone with a demonstrated history of mental illness. And more and more people are advocating for appropriate background checks – which polls indicate an overwhelming majority of Americans support, including a majority of gun owners.

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