Community leaders and gun violence survivors come together to call for state action

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Posted at 4:13 PM, Jan 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-18 23:39:41-05

OXFORD, Mich. (WXYZ) — In an average year, 1,200 people die by guns in Michigan. It’s a huge problem. So leaders with the End Gun Violence Coalition are holding press conferences and prayer vigils across the state.

It's a group effort to call on the new legislature and the governor to act immediately on new gun violence legislation. In Oxford, one of the seven cities, holding a press conference to demand immediate action, the massacre at Oxford High 14 months ago is their rallying cry. But they are not alone.

Earlier today in the City of Detroit faith leaders held a press conference at the Church of the Messiah where pastors, the President of the American Federation of Teachers Michigan, and people who lost loved ones to gun violence spoke out.

In Michigan, African American people are 21 times more likely to die by gun homicide than Caucasian. It's a statistic that cuts deep in the city and beyond. Especially now as criminals are emboldened, as we saw recently with a 19-year-old who shot and killed a wife and mother to take her car.

The top three pieces of legislation they are fighting for include universal background checks, safe storage laws, and red flag laws for extreme risk protection orders. That’s when a family member or law enforcement can remove guns from a home when they believe lives are at risk.

Gun violence is the leading cause of death among children and teens. In Michigan, an average of 90 children and teens die by guns every year.

Far too many, that’s why gun violence survivors and community leaders are holding several statewide events, including in Oxford and Detroit, to call for immediate action on gun violence bills in the new legislature.

We spoke to students and a former teacher who is leading the effort here.

It’s been 14 months but the effects of the Oxford School shooting live on. The gun violence sparked a feeling of 'no more' in many students at Oxford High School where four students were killed.

They say tears and prayers are fine but not enough. Now is a call for immediate action for gun violence legislation. Lauren Jasinski is a former teacher at Oxford High.

She and other students have launched the non-profit, No Future Without Today.

A small conference room at the Village of Oxford is the backdrop for their mission. Oxford, Grand Rapids and Detroit were among the seven locations to take part in this.

Faith leaders and people who lost loved ones to gun violence lead the effort.

Their next step? All who took part in this effort are hoping this will lead to action with the Governor and the new legislature sooner rather than later.