Dozens descend on Spokane City Hall for gun violence vigil

Dozens descend on Spokane City Hall for gun violence vigil
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Dozens of gun control advocates stood together Sunday outside Spokane City Hall, to remember the victims in the El Paso and Dayton shootings and call on legislators to enact new gun policies at the state and federal level.

The shock of last weekend’s shootings in El Paso and Dayton still has not worn off in Spokane, where dozens of people came together Sunday outside City Hall to remember the victims and demand action.

Gun control advocates from Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action teamed up with city council member Kate Burke to host Sunday’s gun violence vigil, where men, women and children from all walks of life stood together in solidarity, fighting a battle they wish they didn’t have to fight.

Some, like Tara Lee, say it’s a battle they never thought they would be up against.

“We talk a lot about how this has become the new norm and it was not like this when I was a kid,” said Lee, who serves as the Spokane membership lead for Moms Demand Action. “It’s terrifying as a mother to know that your child is living in that level of anxiety and vigilance every single day.”

Others, like her daughter Jadyn Malone, say their generation has been fighting this battle as long as they can remember.

“I think it’s just something that is constantly on the mind of young people, because it is such a frequent occurence and you feel like you have to be vigilant and be watching out for it,” said Malone, who works with Students Demand Action.

Those at Sunday’s vigil said no matter when they ran into this battle, they won’t stop fighting until something changes.

“We’ve almost become numb to the fact that there are people going around killing other human beings on this planet and it’s okay in our country,” said Burke. “I don’t want to have to be reactive anymore, I think we can start being proactive.”

Burke, Malone and Lee spoke about the importance of universal background checks and red flag laws — something the Senate is believed to be looking into — at Sunday’s demonstration. Despite calls to come back from recess early after the shootings, the Senate isn’t expected to be back until September.

“What I’m hoping for today is that people get involved. That they take action. That they use this anger and grief and sadness that they are feeling because of all the gun deaths and they turn it into action,” Lee said. “We don’t need thoughts and prayers. We are so far beyond that. What we need is policy and change.”