GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) After a week following the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and nearly two weeks after innocent lives were taken at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, members of the Greenville County NAACP is calling for change.
Greenville County’s NAACP and other organizations gathered Monday afternoon outside of the Peace Center to raise awareness of gun violence, gun safety and hate crimes.
According to an American Gun Control Advocacy and Research organization, an average of 41,000 Americans die from gun violence each year. To break it down, that’s about 112 people per day dying from guns, on average.
“I stand here as a family member who has lost 12 family members to gun violence,” said Dr. Candace Brewer with the Racial Justice Network.
“My mother was taken in gun violence when I was 17,” said Melody McFadden with Moms Demand Action. “My niece was taken a few years back.”
“My son had been laying on the floor, he had been shot. He died at the scene,” said another woman. “He was only 19.”
On Monday, members of the NAACP and other organizations shed light on the lives that have been lost and called on people to take action.
“There is something that needs to be said and done. Marching is fine, protesting is fine, but we gotta make sure that we get to those people who are writing legislation, who are passing legislation, and also those, if we be transparent, who are denying us the rights for what is best, for not just black people or people of color, but for all people in this nation,” said Rev. Emanuel Flemming with the NAACP.
Meanwhile, in Anderson County, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham answered questions at a Memorial Day event regarding gun violence and gun laws.
“Collecting people’s guns who don’t violate the law is not the answer. I own guns responsibly, but when I act irresponsibly, whether it’s me or anybody else, than we should have a system to intervene before it’s too late,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, (R) South Carolina.
He told 7NEWS that he supports “red flag laws,” but opposes those measures on the federal level.
“I am working with Democrats and Republicans to create a federal grant program to beef up red flag systems that exist at the state level. I am not for red flag law at the federal level,” said Senator Graham.
At the conclusion of the NAACP’s event, people said they hope change will happen soon, before another mass shooting.
“Guns should not be in the hands of children. They should not be in the hands of criminals. They should not be in the hands of the mentally ill and are a danger to themselves or others,” said McFadden.
“We have to start holding everyone accountable. We have to hold our lawmakers accountable. If they are not doing the job that we need them to do then they need to vote them out of office,” said Brewer.
According to South Carolina’s gun violence archive, there have been ten mass shooting in SC this year alone.