“It’s a shame that we are here today to honor Gun Violence Awareness Day when every day is Gun Violence Day across America,” said Nicole Hockley, CEO of the Sandy Hook. Promise Foundation.
It’s a fight Newtown knows well. For nearly a decade, many have fought for national gun control legislation. Now they feel they can finally get it.
Outside Edmond town hall on Friday, dozens of people rallied for gun control legislation, including red flag and safe storage laws, as well as expanded background checks. They encouraged people to continue the fight by talking to lawmakers, talking to voters and voting.
“Columbine was not enough. Virginia Tech was not enough. Sandy Hook was not enough. Parkland was not enough. Will Uvalde be enough? asked a speaker.
“I ask my colleagues not only to answer America’s call, but to see what can actually save lives,” said US Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting have spoken of the devastation caused by gun violence and the frustration of inaction all these years later.
“We don’t have to live like this. We choose to live like this,” said another speaker.
Walking to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, they said they hoped this time would be different. They said the shooting at Uvalde shows Sandy Hook was no anomaly.
Outside the NSSF, they chanted and called for change.
“We need the clout, power and defense of the American people behind us. This is an epidemic, and there are solutions available to us that not only don’t infringe on anyone’s rights, but protect their rights,” said Mark Barden, CEO of the Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund.
The firearms industry trade association said it was willing to sit down, discuss issues and find solutions as long as people’s Second Amendment rights are respected.
“We share their frustrations and we share their anger at the recent events that we have seen. We want to work together on solutions that we believe will work,” said Mark Oliva, executive director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.