As the country commemorated one inspiring activist and awarded another—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Obama—on January 21st, one group of concerned families engaged in their own activism on the issue of gun violence. Mothers, fathers and small children from all over the city marched over the Brooklyn Bridge and filled City Hall Park, carrying signs that read “Enough is Enough!” and “Stop the Violence!”
CHCMC staff stood alongside members of One Million Moms for Gun Control, the Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ “Demand a Plan” campaign, and Harlem Mothers SAVE (Stop Another Violent End), and called for the federal government to enact stronger gun control legislation, as New York State did last week.
The crowd at City Hall Park was addressed by several prominent gun control advocates in New York City, including Rabbi Joshua Davidson, a New York interfaith activist, Councilwoman Letitia James, whose district includes parts of Crown Heights, and Jackie Rowe-Adams, who founded Harlem Mothers SAVE after losing two children to gun violence.
"We can't bring our kids back, but we can certainly continue to do prevention, to do education and to do what we can to end the violence," Rowe-Adams said at the rally.
Finally, the crowd was addressed by Shannon Watts, who founded One Million Moms For Gun Control in the days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Watts told the crowd that she had planned for this group to engender the kind of grass-roots activism that Mothers Against Drunk Driving has, and to keep constant pressure on congress to control the presence of guns on the streets.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, an advocate of stricter gun laws, also attended the rally. After the rally, Kelly told the New York Post that because many of the guns in New York are brought in illegally from out of state, there needs to be a national policy to support local gun-control laws.