New York Voices Against Gun Violence, a broad, newly-formed coalition of advocates, victims, youth organizations, healthcare workers, unions, elected officials, faith leaders and artists, will hold a massive mobilization to promote the NY SAFE Act as a model for legislation at the federal level and in other states on Thursday, March 21.
The rally starts 4:30 PM at Harlem State Office Building, 163 West 125th Street, off Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. (7th Ave.), New York City.
Thousands of people will gather in New York City, and others will speak out across the state, to focus attention on the human toll of the gun violence that is plaguing our nation on a daily basis. The coalition includes Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E., New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Doctors for America – NY State Chapter, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, Million Moms March and many other groups.
“When I lost my nephew it was deeply devastating, but once he was buried, I thought I had gotten past his death. Then when Newtown happened it woke me up,” said Marie Delus of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “I realized that I was not over it, and I knew I had to do something. I am a Marine and I don’t want anyone to believe that I am speaking out against lawful gun owners, but our kids are getting their hands on guns, killing themselves and other innocent people. If we are responsible citizens who care about America, then we must continue to implement laws like the NY Safe Act to prevent gun violence.”
The coalition strongly supports the NY SAFE Act’s common sense protections, such as mental health and criminal background checks, tougher restrictions on assault weapons, limits on high-capacity ammunition and measures to keep guns out of schools. The NY SAFE Act, which was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo last month, is designed to prevent the kinds of mass shootings plaguing our nation such as the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in which 20 children and seven adults were killed.
The Act will also help reduce the gun violence that has devastated families and communities in New York’s urban centers. There is new urgency to defend the NY SAFE Act as big weapons companies and the gun lobby have tried to build opposition and challenges to the law.
“The SAFE Act will help save innocent lives like those of the children in Sandy Hook, the first responders in Webster Lake, and New Yorkers who each day are killed and injured by guns. As a New Yorker, a mother and someone who lost her brother to gun violence, I’m proud to be part of this coalition to support Governor Cuomo’s leadership on this issue and call for the NY SAFE Act to be a model for action against gun violence nationally,” said Leah Gunn Barrett, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.
“I lost my dear friend and co-worker to a stray bullet a few years ago,” added Kay McClamb of Buffalo, a nursing home worker and community activist. “She was shot at home, while cleaning her carpet, when a bullet crashed through her window and killed her. Supporting the NY SAFE Act is personal for me. Any reasonable actions we can take to keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill and prevent needless incidents of gun violence has my full support.”
As the debate about gun violence continues throughout our nation, advocates say this massive effort will demonstrate the strong grassroots support for more common sense laws that protect children, families and communities.