As we approach the summer months and the unfortunate rise in violence that is often associated with them, Mayors in Peoria and the Twin Cities have proclaimed Friday June 7th as Gun Violence Awareness Day.
Two local chapters of a national organization, Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America, are holding events this weekend and wearing orange to educate communities on what they can do.
After Chicago experienced it’s most violent weekend of 2019 with 52 shot and 10 killed, the moms of the group said it’s another reminder why they believe their work is so important.
The co-leaders of the McLean County chapter of Moms Demand Action said they were moved to take an active role first after Sandy Hook in 2012 and once again after the Parkland shooting last year.
“I really never got over it I just could never get those children’s faces out of my mind, out of my heart.” said Co-leader Diane White
Having just celebrated the group’s one year anniversary locally, fellow co-leader Karen Irvin said the growth has been tremendous.
“Many of us in the group we have about 200 people in our group with about 50 really active core members. Many of them are former teachers, many are parents or grandparents, or just people who care about children.” said Karen Irvin
They push for stronger gun laws and do this by working with lawmakers and community leaders to reduce gun-related violence.
One of their big initiatives currently is to tighten FOID card enforcement after five people were shot and killed at work in Illinois a few months ago.
“We want that bill to close loop holes in the Fire Arm Owner ID system which was tragically not effective before the Aurora shooting.” said Irvin
But they emphasize their group is not anti-gun but pro safety.
“Our group supports the second amendment and what we are firmly against is gun violence not the possession of guns.” said Irvin
Overall they said their end goal is simple.
“Our mission is for our children and our grandchildren to go to school, for our children to go to work, go to a movie, go to a dance and not be worrying about getting shot.” said White.
The McLean County event will take place on Saturday 6/08 at Anderson Park in Normal, IL from 10 A.M. – 12 P.M. for speakers, refreshments, kids’ activities and a Walk of Remembrance in honor of those who have lost their lives to gun violence in the area.
The Peoria Wear Orange Remembrance Walk will take place on Saturday 6/08 at the Peoria Riverfront Trail at the Military Services Memorial Plaza just south of the RiverPlex from 10:30 A.M – 12:30 P.M.