Helping to lead the drive for gun violence awareness and advocating for sensible gun safety legislation, demonstrators in communities across the nation urged lawmakers to enact sensible gun laws to help prevent deaths caused by gun violence.
Volunteers, emblazoned in orange shirts, carried placards and signs on National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Demonstrators stood with Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and Nathaniel Pendleton, whose 15 year old daughter was shot in Chicago in 2013. Her memory and recognition of countless others killed by gun violence were honored by those who wore orange.
Hadiya’s friends chose orange because it stands for safety and means “don’t shoot”.
Here in Horry County, SC, demonstrators gathered in memory of gun suicides, school and other mass shootings and all deadly acts facilitated by weak legislation on guns, said county Democratic party chair Don Kohn, who was one of the demonstrators.
“We’re speaking out because common sense gun regulations have been thwarted by the rich gun lobby despite the hard work of many South Carolina and Congressional legislators.” Kohn called for banning the sale of bump stocks, silencers, assault-type weapons that have no sport or safety purpose, as well as removing guns from the hands of all domestic abusers.
Demonstrators here also urged stronger background checks to prevent gun sales to criminals who put our safety at risk. “Change the rule that allows gun sales to go through after a short period, even though a thorough background check has not been completed,” Kohn said.
He also advocated closing the “Gun Show Loophole,” which allows buyers to bypass a background check for gun show purchases and urged the South Carolina state legislature and all levels of law enforcement to “effectively address the torrent of illegal guns that plague our streets.”
In addition, he called for education and training to prevent bullying and violence be provided at all educational levels and workplaces.
The local event here was just an example of the demonstrations that took place on National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Hopefully, these events will add to the public discourse that is occurring on gun violence and our lawmakers at both the national and state levels will take responsible action.