THE CONCERT Across America TO END GUN VIOLENCE was held just outside of City Hall this past Saturday and witnessed many influential figures drop in, including (from left to right) City of Falls Church Police Chief Mary Gavin, concert coordinator Carol Luten, City Council member Dan Sze, Mayor David Tarter, Vice Mayor Marybeth Connelly and Council member David Snyder.
Each person pictured spoke with audience in attendance, with Chief Gavin’s words ringing the loudest:
“We live in a culture that is violent, but that’s not what we are. Our young children know the words, school shooting, active shooter, drive-by shooting. Our police culture needs to hear from our community. We are committed to de-escalation, peace-keeping and public safety. Violence against women is a priority. The most violent offenses are against women. FCCPD is committed to that. Gun violence is a compound problem. It is a searing scar that never leaves those involved. We have a lot of guns in Virginia. You have a lot of guns in Falls Church. Violence, trauma, there is an accumulative effect to that. It affects the victims and the officers that time and time again respond to these shootings.”
Here are samplings what others had to say at the concert this past Saturday.
Mayor Tarter: “It is important for our community to stand-up and be-counted. Since 1968 more Americans have died from gunfire than from all US wars. Unbelievable and Unsustainable.”
Sze: “Eight children die every day, and fifty per week. We must speak out to do something about the killing and all the carnage just as we are doing today.”
Snyder: “One of the principle purposes of government is to maintain public safety, but the reality of unrestricted and unregulated access to firearms makes critical governmental functions particularly difficult and particularly challenging.”
Gun violence survivor, William Ranta: “I don’t want guns, I want to keep kids safe.”
Gun violence survivor, Kate Ranta: “We will not stop gun violence in this country until we disarm abusers. Women and children are being injured and dying everyday because of them. As for me, I will not stop, I will not stop. We are creating a WAVE of change, (Women Against the Violence Epidemic), check us out on Facebook.”
Delegate Marcus Simon: “You may hear that Marcus is too much of a trouble-maker in Richmond, but I am hear to tell you that I am going to try and keep trying for you all. We have some solid science to tell us what some of the solutions are; universal background checks, permit to purchase programs, and taking guns out of violent situations early, are thing we know that work.”
Concert Coordinator Carol Luten: “It’s not a matter of IF, we’re going to get there. It’s a matter of when and how. We have to get our hands dirty and start working.”