WASHINGTON, D.C. (WAVY) – Hundreds, including some of Virginia’s top politicians and the father of a murdered WDBJ reporter gathered Thursday for a gun control rally in the nation’s capitol.
Their motto was to do whatever it takes to prevent more gun violence. They called on Congress to enact gun violence legislation including expanding meaningful background checks. They say it’s common sense, and Thursday they made one united, very passionate plea for something to be done now.
“We are in Congress’ front yard this morning,” a representative with ‘Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’ shouted to the crowd. “We are demanding action on gun laws that will help save 88 American lives taken every single day due to gun violence.”
Several of those who’ve suffered the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence first hand followed her lead. They vowed to do whatever it takes to bring about change alongside lawmakers fighting on their behalf. Senator Tim Kaine said those who want to make a difference have to keep believing that something can, will and must be done. He told the crowd that they can’t let grief turn into despair and stop them from trying to make the world better, that they have to act. And there are few that would wonder why Virginia politicians in particular are leading the charge.
“Every time that voice is out there, it’s a voice of evil that says there’s nothing that can be done,” said Kaine.
“I’m sick and tired of gutless politicians who are scared of the NRA,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe.
They say they simply want to prevent the heartache of more fathers like Andy Parker whose grief is still raw and in his words consuming from the very recent televised murder of his shining star in Roanoke.
“I’m not here because I want to be here,” said Parker. “I’m here because I have to be here. I’m here because Alison would want me to be here. In fact, she would insist that I be here.”
“Now Smith Mountain Lake joins that litany of Aurora and Sandy Hook, Tucson, Virginia Tech and Newtown,” said Senator Mark Warner. “Enough is enough.”
But even with a daunting yet growing list of tragedies that brought so many there, creating the change they seek is proving to be a complicated task.