On December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and fatally shot 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult staff members. Prior to driving to the school, he shot and killed his mother at their Newtown home. As first responders arrived at the scene, Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
In commemoration of the tragedy, volunteers with the Middle Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, gathered to honor the five-year mark of the Sandy Hook School shooting and the 94 Davidson County citizens who died in shootings in 2017.
Also in attendance were State Representatives Bill Beck, State Representative Harold Love, Ashford Hughes, Senior Advisor at the Mayor’s office, and a host of others.
Moms Demand Action was founded by stay-at-home mom Shannon Watts on December 15, 2012, in response to the devastating shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The organization quickly flourished into a leading force for gun violence prevention, with chapters in all 50 states and a powerful grassroots network of moms that has successfully effected change at the local, state and national level. In December 2013, Moms Demand Action partnered with Mayors Against Illegal Guns to unite a nationwide movement of millions of Americans working together to change the game and end the epidemic of gun violence that affects every community.
“There have been over 150,000 shooting deaths in this country in the last 5 yrs. Today on the anniversary of Sandy Hook, we gather together to remember the children and teachers 86 people in Davidson couty have died from homicide by gun this year, that number does not include accidents and suicide,” said Jeannie Hunter, a Moms Demand Action volunteer.
“We gather this weekend with others across the country and every state, and we call upon our local state and national leaders to promote policies and legislation that will reduce the impact of gun violence on all of our community; and urge support of extended background checks, essential legislation endorsed by an overwhelming majority of Americans.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Representative Harold love who said that, “we must do something about gun violence”, affirming his commitment along with that of Representative Bill Beck in doing what they can to help reduce gun violence in Tennessee.
The occasion was somber, with volunteers and those effected by gun violence sharing their stories, thankful for the organizations that is helping to bring positive change to senseless gun violence
“I’m very thankful for the ‘Moms’. I never understood how a mother could survive burying her child, and some days we didn’t think we were going to make it,” said one volunteer. I still don’t understand how a parent can live without their childe, because each day my husband and I struggle.”
Following the service, local artists lead attendees in creating Care Cards that were be mailed to gun violence survivors across the nation.
This event was one of more than 200 across the country commem-orating the Sandy Hook five-year mark and asking lawmakers to do more to end gun violence.