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Written by Tanya Terry
End Gun Violence Michigan plans to produce a documentary about the harsh reality of gun violence across the state. The 15-minute documentary will feature the stories of individuals who survived gun violence and have decided to become leaders as a result. They are asking community members and faith and public health organizations to hold events to screen this film. Then, they are asking the groups and individuals to hold a discussion about actions they can take that may help reduce gun violence.
At a meeting held Wednesday, October 19, Bishop Bonnie Perry, the Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Michigan, presented her views on the matter. She said gun violence has been in our communities for decades but said elected officials have done very little to prevent it.
“And the body count keeps going up, particularly that of our siblings, our Black and brown siblings in the city, and particularly children,” Perry added.
Perry said the number one cause of death for young people is gun violence. She stated she has been working on the topic since before the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting of 2012.
“It was really at the moment after the Oxford shooting-it’s almost been a year, November 30th-that we decided to come together and join our forces to try to build a movement big enough and powerful enough to be across our state for us to actually finally make a difference and start saving lives,” Perry said.
Vicki Schroeder, gun violence prevention advisor for Interfaith Action of Southwest Michigan, presented statistics.
“91% of voters think that reducing gun violence is an important election issue,” she said. “98% support keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and domestic abusers. 73% support strengthening gun laws. 91% support closing background check loopholes, and that would require one word change in the current Michigan law. 95% would support prevention of mass shootings and school shootings.”
“We are not trying to control guns,” said Mia Reid, MA, LPC, LLTP. “We are working towards gun safety, not control.”
Reid pointed out 40% of those polls wanted gun control and 90% support universal background checks.
Ryan Bates of End Gun Violence Michigan said although polling is merely a snapshot in time, he trusts polling that’s consistent. He said two the results of Michigan polls, including one from Everytown, tracked closely with the national numbers.
Bates also stated the upcoming documentary would consist of stories of those who lost but who used it for strength.
End Gun Violence Michigan is a non-partisan coalition.
The Flint Courier News does not support any particular political party or agenda.