Politicians, non violent community rally for common sense gun prevention
Members of congress and gun violence survivors gathered together yesterday at Logan Circle along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to rally in support of common sense gun violence prevention.
Noticeable political figures such as former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, former Governor Ed Rendell and Congressman John Lewis were in attendance. Facilitated by the Vocal Majority, and organized by Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC, the rally brought together people from all walks of life who had been affected by gun violence.
“I have a niece, she has three boys and I’m petrified every day that when those kids turn into teenagers, she’s going to get the same call that I got. That one of her boys have been murdered,” Paula Henderson said. “I’m trying to do everything I can to bring attention to the guns being dumped into our communities, so I can make a change.”
Henderson, a member of Mothers In Charge, traveled from Los Angeles to Philadelphia to attend the rally and share her story of loss. Her 21-year-old-son, who served in the military for two years, was gunned down.
Henderson added that she does not want her niece to experience the pain that she continues to feel.
“I know he did not deserve to be murdered, just like any other child who does not deserve to be murdered,” Henderson said. “If they don’t get better gun control, if they don’t improve the laws—they keep saying it’s about second amendment rights, but let's face it. It’s about capitalism, it’s about being able to have guns and not having any consequences for it.”
Those who took the stage, surrounded by speakers and members of various media outlets, echoed the same concerns and reasoning of Henderson. The second amendment can be limited, former Governor Ed Rendell said, rallying the crowd together as he took to the stage.
“I don’t give a damn if all we save with reasonable gun control limits is one person a day, 365 days a year. Isn’t that worth fighting for?” Rendell said.
Towards the end of the rally, Congressman Lewis came to the stage. Thanking Giffords who spoke softly and said only a few words prior.
“Gabby, we will fight,” Lewis said, as the crowd surrounding the stage started chanting “fight, fight” in unison. “Until the victory is won. I’ve been to too many funerals, in Atlanta and other parts of Georgia. I’ve seen school mates, classmates and playmates of my son murdered and gone to their funerals. I’m sick and tired of gun violence and want to thank each and every one of you for finding a way to get in the way, to get into trouble, necessary trouble.”
Henderson added that there are so many layers to the ongoing violence, poverty, the lack of education and opportunity.
“This is a systemic problem,” Henderson said. “If I can come here from LA and meet somebody from Philadelphia that has the same story then this problem is not isolated to communities and we want to see change, that’s why I’m here today.”