City Leaders and Local Organizations Speak Out on Gun Violence

National Gun Violence Awareness Day is June 7.

DULUTH, Minn.- Local organizations, city officials and school board members spoke at Duluth city hall to raise awareness of gun violence.

June 7 is National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Friday’s event was a precursor to that day and a way to prepare the city for Wear Orange Weekend.

It was started in 2015 in memory of Hadiya Pendleton, a Chicago teenager who was shot and killed.

Local organizations like Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America organized Friday’s rally to remember those lost to gun violence around the nation and in Duluth.

“I’m proud of our city for recognizing that this is an issue that’s non–partisan, that it affects people in all walks of life and that we don’t have to continue living this way,” Mom’s Demand Action volunteer Sarah Mikesell said.

Members of the school board referenced the Duluth East High School shooting threat and lockdown earlier this year as one of the reasons for being the first school board in Minnesota to pass a resolution declaring the first Friday in June gun violence awareness day in schools.

“It is past time to take bigger and bolder action, and I am hopeful that the coalition I work with and the coalition that all of us are a part of, whether they are formal or informal, are ready to be bold and clear in the need we have to ensure safety for our children, our families, for seniors for every single city and every single community,” Duluth Mayor Emily Larson said.

Mayor Larson also read a proclamation declaring June 7, 2019 Gun Violence Awareness Day in the city.

There have been 13 school shootings in 2019, a number these organizations don’t want to see grow. They said it’s about more than just school shootings, it’s gun violence on the streets and suicides, things they say happen in the Twin Ports that they want to bring awareness to.

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