Raleigh residents rally against gun violence
Posted September 10, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — People gathered across the country Thursday with the message that gun laws need to change. A rally in downtown Raleigh was held outside Senator Thom Tills’ office as part of the national day of action.
The demonstrations are motivated, in part, by the murders of a news reporter and photojournalist on live television last month in Roanoke, Virginia. The tragedy has brought the debate over guns back to the streets.
"We will do whatever it takes to put a stop to this gun violence," said Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America volunteer, Laura Morgan.
Protestors in Raleigh said that they are not trying to take guns from responsible owners. Instead, they said they want to close loopholes in background checks to purchase a gun. One of those loopholes involves gun sales from one individual to another, said Morgan.
"So, gun shows, Craigslist, Facebook, those kinds of transactions, those folks don't undergo background checks," said Morgan.
While Morgan rallied in Raleigh, Andy Parker, the father of the reporter killed in Virginia, was in Washington D.C. making the same case.
"We can't stop now and we need to continue to mount pressure on our elected officials in Washington," said Parker.
A spokesperson for the National Rifle Association released a statement in response to this day of action. They say that the focus needs to be on mental health.
“The NRA family shares in the grief of Mr. Parker and others whose lives have been impacted by violent tragedies. The latest push for so-called universal background checks by Michal Bloomberg-funded gun control groups like Moms Demand Action would have done nothing to prevent the tragedy at Roanoke. The alleged shooter passed not one, but two background checks. Clearly, expanding a broken system is not the solution. NRA has been calling for meaningful mental health reform so those suffering from mental illness who are found to be a danger to themselves or others will not have legal access to firearms.”
A spokesperson for Senator Thom Tills also released a statement saying, in part, that people must work together to address the root causes of violence and confront the nation's growing mental health crisis.