Bells rang out across the nation today to mark the first anniversary of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., in which 26 people — 20 of them children – were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Twin Cities were host to one of many memorials held across the country to remember the victims and to push for reforms that could reduce gun violence deaths.
Two groups, Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, organized Saturday’s event at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. Instead of the traditional “moment of silence,” bells were rung at each vigil to honor the Sandy Hook victims. The vigils were held under the title, “No More Silence” as gun safety activists pledged renewed efforts to expand background checks for gun buyers and to push for other measures to reduce gun violence.
Gun Violence continues –
Speakers at the Westminster event included: Jane Kay, local chapter leader of Moms Demand Action, Connie Coleman, wife of Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Mary Johnson of From Death to Life. “It’s time to make noise about gun reform,” organizers of the event said. The vigil concluded with the ringing of a communal bell to honor the victims of Newtown and “to demonstrate that American mothers will never again be silent about gun violence.”
“The tragedy at Sandy Hook was a wake-up call for many of us and we can no longer be silent about our nation’s raging epidemic of gun violence,” said Kay. “Nearly eight children and teens are shot and killed every day in America. It is time our voices are heard.”
“What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary was an unimaginable tragedy for my family, and the families of all of the victims,” said Maura Sherlach Schwartz, a national spokesperson for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and daughter of Mary Sherlach, a school psychologist killed at Sandy Hook Elementary. “It was also a shattering wake-up call for millions of mothers across America. I am proud to be part of this powerful grassroots movement working to combat the national epidemic of gun violence that claims the lives of nearly eight children or teens every day.”
Keep reading to watch the new TV ad calling for an end to the silence
Moms Demand Action also has partnered with Mayors Against Illegal Guns to develop an ad, “No More Silence,” which premiered this week on cable news networks. The ad is a commentary on the need for continued indignation among Americans at the inaction of Congress, and can be viewed here:
Moms Demand Action was founded the day after the mass shooting in Newtown. In just 12 months, Moms Demand Action has gained more than 125,000 members, with a chapter in every state.
“American moms will never forget the victims lost at Sandy Hook nor the countless other victims lost every day all over the country to gun violence,” said Kay. “In one year we have seen successes as a result of our voices and we will not stop until all of our children, families, and communities are safe from gun violence.”