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Vocal Majority Tour pushes for legislation to prevent gun violence across the U.S.

Source: WCSC Source: WCSC
CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) -

The rally for gun violence prevention laws continue in Charleston.

On Sunday, state and local leaders and community members came together as part of the Vocal Majority Tour. The tour is an initiative started by former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords who was shot in the head in the 2011 Tuscan Shooting and survived. Her husband Mark Kelly is also part of the tour. 

The Vocal Majority Tour is calling on communities across the U.S. like Charleston to stand up and speak out against gun violence.

Family and friends of the victims in the Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting along with the Charleston Mayor and state senators joined with the community to push for what they're calling "common sense gun laws."

Rev. Kylon Middleton is the pastor of the Mt. Zion AME Church, the daughter church of Mother Emanuel. He was best friends with one of the church shooting victims, Senator Clementa Pinckney.

"I woke up and I became a part of the vocal majority because my dear friend was assassinated not in a war zone not in place he should not have been but in a church," Middleton said.

JA Moore's sister Myra Thompson also passed away in the church shooting.

"I'm going to be grieving for the rest of my life, I'm going to always be healing," Moore said.

Senators Marlon Kimpson, Margie Bright Matthews and Gerald Malloy were speakers at the event. 

"That's what I'm calling all the members of the general assembly including the governor to join us as we vow meaningful background checks legislation this coming year," Kimpson said. 

Matthews says gun violence will get worse if it's ignored. 

"The violence, the senseless killings, the shootings the ignorance in the gun laws needs to stop now," Matthews said.

Many are hopeful for gun reform in South Carolina. 

"It's so politicized and that's a sad thing it's not a political issue, it's just common sense and human rights issue," Bobbie Rose said, who is pushing for gun reform.

There was a message on getting out to vote in the upcoming election and people say they plan to put pressure on lawmakers.

"It's not about being anti-gun, like I said I'm a pro-gun type of person, but we have to have some reforms in legislation," Moore said.

The wife of Clementa Pinckney, Jennifer, says her husband would have been the one standing at the podium talking about gun reform, not her. She says because he's not here she has to keep the work going.

"We all can make a difference, we're not trying to take away your guns or anything like that," Jennifer said. "We are just trying to protect, trying to protect our future."

The tour is making a total of 42 stops across the U.S. Gabby Giffords was not in Charleston, but she will rejoin the tour for future stops. 

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