In the wake of several mass shootings, some politicians and other public leaders in New York are calling for a national gun violence awareness month.
Democratic Reps. Hakeem Jeffries and Charles Rangel said they will put the issue before Congress. Although June is gun violence awareness month in New York, the representatives hope to make it a national issue. Their efforts are supported by the Rev. Al Sharpton and noted director Spike Lee, NY Daily News reported.
"It is imperative as we continue to deal with ... violence by police, that we also reiterate we must deal with violence to one another,” Sharpton told the National Action Network, adding that he’d hold “peace summits” around the country if the measure passes.
Rangel said the measure would help “shatter the myth that guns don’t kill people.”
“It’s a moral issue,” he said. “This is a national security question. We’re talking about saving the lives and the minds of a great nation.”
Jeffries echoed Rangel’s statement. “How many more innocent Americans have to die before we declare that enough is enough?,” he said, according to CBS New York. “We’ve got 5 percent of the world’s population, but 50 percent of the world’s guns.”
For his part, Lee is planning to lead an anti-gun violence march after his movie “Chi-raq” debuts in New York. “We’re not having a celebration,” he said. “We’re going to march.”
The move was also backed by those who lost loved ones to gun violence. “He can’t be replaced,” said Shianne Norman of her 4-year-old son Lloyd Morgan, who was killed by a stray bullet.
“I’ve got to live the rest of my life without my son. Seventeen- and 19-year-old were the people who shot my son. How is that? Why are we not doing more? Our children are being murdered.”