Delaware Valley Comes Together to Remember Sandy Hook and Unite in a Call for Action
Villanova, December 7, 2013 – Today, CeaseFirePA joined Bucks Against Gun Violence, Bucks Safe, Buxmont Coalition for Peace Action, Chester County Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy, Heeding God’s Call, Lower Merion United, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Villanova University Center for Peace and Justice Education in a moving program to remember and honor the victims of Sandy Hook, and all the gun violence victims and survivors before and since that tragedy. Mixed in with the solemn memorial was a stirring call for Pennsylvania to take action to make our communities safer.
Many speakers noted that we have become too skilled at observing the anniversaries of gun violence tragedies. As Lori Haas, mother of a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting, noted, “Every day is a tragedy for some family whose loved one has fallen victim to gun violence. Real action is what we need to prevent these mass tragedies and reduce the incidences of every day gun violence. All families deserve to live free from gun violence.”
Former Governor Ed Rendell urged the crowd to use the power of citizen action to make Pennsylvania a leader in the gun violence prevention movement. “You have the power,” he explained, “the elected officials in Harrisburg must listen to the commonsense of the voters who put them there.”
The call to action focused on growing support for House Bill 1010, which would expand background checks to cover the private sale of long guns and would essentially mean that all gun sales in Pennsylvania would be subject to a background check. The goal is to gain more cosponsors and move this bill from the Judiciary Committee to a full vote in the House, and then onto the Senate.
Shira Goodman, Executive Director of CeaseFirePA, urged Pennsylvanians to call on Governor Tom Corbett to make gun violence prevention a priority for Pennsylvania: “The energy and shared commitment that unites so many groups today is exactly what will be the source of strength that propels us to victory in Pennsylvania. Together, we will break the silence in Harrisburg.”