LANSING, Mich. — Friday marked Gun Violence Awareness Day across the country and here in Lansing a coalition of seven organizations came together to recommit to the effort to end gun violence in our community.
“I think it's important that our voices are involved in this this change that we want to see happen in our community," said Tony Gant an attendee of Saturday's event and a member of Nation Outside. "A lot of the things that we're fighting for in this area is about lowering barriers so people don't resort to crime once they're released from prison, and so that's why I'm here.”
A group of about a hundred community members, leaders and elected officials, gathered on Everett High School’s football field on Saturday. For Gant, tackling the issue of gun violence starts with better community support and stricter gun control laws.
“I mean, because the bulk of gun violence in the country is suicide, we should be making it more difficult for people to get handguns. It's just that simple, right? Gant said.
Elected officials like Mayor Andy Schor and State Representative Sarah Anthony came out to show their support for the cause.
“We want to show the public that Lansing is a welcoming city," said Mayor Andy Schor. "It's a great city. It's a vibrant city. And when people come to our city with guns, we don't stand for it. Our community is standing up and saying, this is not us.”
He explained that although work is being done to reduce the number of guns on the streets of Lansing the fight is long from over.
“We took 500 guns off the street last year, but they keep getting more and more guns. And I wish there was something I could do, but I can't prevent people from getting guns," Schor said.
Speakers talked about the loved ones they lost to gun violence and called on elected officials at the federal level to do their jobs and pass stricter laws.
This year’s National Gun Violence Awareness day came after several mass shootings in recent weeks across the country.
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