Activist Groups Mobilize Across Country Over ‘Unsettling’ Gun Violence

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Illustration by Kostya Vacuum via Flickr

Deadly examples of gun violence around the country are fueling a backlash from citizens who are demanding action from authorities — and in some cases getting it.

Last week, three shootings in downtown Seattle galvanized a group called Grandmothers Against Gun Violence into a protest outside of the state capital in Olympia, Wa., pushing for “the passage of bills that would ban the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines and assault-style weapons, centralize background checks and more,” the Public News Service of Washington reported.

In Pensacola, Fl., residents used a centennial celebration to voice their concerns with Mayor Grover Robinson about the gun violence in their community. Last Wednesday, a local Dollar General was robbed, and the clerk was shot in an altercation. The two suspects are still not in custody, WUWF reported.

“A rash of things continue to happen with this gun violence, and I will say this much; the city of Pensacola is absolutely committed to solving, and permitting, and providing whatever force we need to,” Robinson said at a news conference.

Mayor Robinson went on to say how that the city has “more than doubled training” for law enforcement and increased its budget.

Mayor Michael Hancock of Montbello in Denver County, Co., is so concerned about shootings that have generated what he called an “unsettling start” to 2020’s that he hosted a “community call” on Monday evening where residents could phone in to talk to the mayor directly and voice their concerns.

“One of the startling facts is that we’re seeing a trend that these types of incidents are involving younger kids,” Mayor Michael Hancock said while on the community call.

“Typically it is 18-year-olds, but recently we’re seeing 12- to 17- year olds who are most prevalent in gun violence in our community,” Denver CBS  affiliate reported.

Many locals were eager to speak with Mayor Hancock. Denver CBS Local explained how some residents questioned who the city will hold responsible, and some of them shared stories of the tragedies they’ve experienced when losing a loved one to guns.

Last weekend, police in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, spoke with KCRG, a local ABC news network, to talk to the public about a shooting that killed a high school student and injured another last Friday.

John Tursi, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs in Cedar Rapids pleaded with the public to make a change.

“Gun violence today is a huge concern and I would say it affects everybody in the city of Cedar Rapids,” Tursi said to KCRG. “You look at where the shots are being fired and where they are coming from, it’s all over.”

The University of Dayton, Ohio, is planning an event on February 4th on the 6 month anniversary of the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton.

The event, hosted by the University of Dayton Human Rights Center and UD Center for Social Concern, will address steps the community can take to end gun violence, while memorializing the victims of the August 2019 shooting, Dayton 24/7 Now reports.

It seems as though the public’s outcries are beginning to be heard, the Washington Post said.

The Virginia Senate approved new ‘red flag laws’ last Wednesday, the Ohio Senate considered a new bill to make school safer from gun violence, and today, the New Mexico Senate banned firearms from a public gallery that began debating new ‘red flag law’ legislation.

Additional Reading: 21 States Plan Court Challenge on ‘Ghost Guns”

Andrea Cipriano is a staff writer with The Crime Report.

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