As of Saturday, April 19, it appears many communities across America are joining together to prevent gun violence. In fact, most of these grass-root groups are seeking improved gun policies, because they are tired of living in daily fear of dying due to gunfire. However, it appears these citizens have a challenge ahead of them with the deep pockets of the National Rifle Association and their headstrong efforts to protect pro-gun rights. So far this year they have spent more than $3.4 million, and in 2012 spent more than $22 million in combined lobbying efforts, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. However, this hasn’t detoured one person from challenging this industry.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided to show who has the bigger checkbook, and recently announced he will donate $50 million to a gun policy sense group, Everytown for Gun Safety, which unites American groups who are dedicated to improve gun laws.
Yesterday, a 7-mile march took place in a Miami neighborhood where people voiced their concerns about protecting innocent people from gunfire. “We cannot continue to let violence rule our community,” said Charles Jackson, a community activist who spoke at the rally. Adding, “we cannot continue to let innocent women, children, and men be gun downed by AK47s.” This march didn’t transpire out of anti-gun efforts; specifically, they hope to reduce gun violence. Apparently the neighborhood has had multiple gun shootings which killed innocent bystanders.
Jamaal Weathersby, a local Miami pastor said he believes when anyone is killed the entire community suffers “and so everybody should be concerned about this.” Miami is not alone. Just yesterday a South Carolina effort announced the Peace Lilies for Guns group, which partnered with Faith Coalition for Gun Violence and will be taking unwanted guns off the streets,and no questions will be asked.
In Louisiana, Wednesday night a New Orleans neighborhood was sprayed with multiple gun shots. Unfortunately, an innocent friend of the house owners died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to reports. Brenda Hal had been playing cards in her friend's living room when they heard gunfire, and as the couple hurried to take cover, they wondered why their friend had not moved, and that’s when they learned she had been fatally shot. The 59-year old is the “third murder” within a week in the same neighborhood, according to WWLTV.com
As more communities seem to struggle to prevent such gun violence, not everyone agrees with Bloomberg’s efforts to help fund these local groups working for sensible gun policies. Jill Koyama, who wonders if America needs another uber-rich person helping to persuade public policy, wrote an opinion piece for CNN that doesn’t dispute “gun violence in America needs to be tacked.”