Local 'Moms Demand Action' group targets areas with higher rate of gun violence
CHAMPAIGN, ILL. (WCCU) —
A community group working to end gun violence moved their mission just a few blocks over.
In an effort to grow the program in neighborhoods that have a higher rate of gun violence, the local Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America chapter moved their monthly meetings to Douglass Park.
Founder of the CU chapter Lauren Quinn said they made this change in hopes of gaining members who live in affected neighborhoods.
"We're trying to draw members of that community together to know that they have a voice,” Quinn said. “And they have strength, and try to defend themselves against the surge of gun violence happening around them."
Reducing gun violence is a cause close to many CU residents.
“In high school a friend was accidentally shot by his best friend playing with a gun that belonged to his father," local chapter leader Elly Hanauer said. "This is something that has stayed with me ever since then."
Hanauer serves as a legislative lead for the Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action. She said overall the organization pushes for more gun laws.
According to Hanauer, the organization backs legislation that will enforce universal background checks and eliminate loopholes in gun sales. They’re also working to shut down federal legislation that would put gun restrictions at risk.
Hanour said when it comes to changing legislation, there’s strengths in numbers.
“We call our representatives as often as we can and try to show them that the vast majority of Americans do not support this,” Hanour said.
Group leaders hope adding new voices to the cause will strengthen this message.
“They can speak to their legislators and say this is happening in my community,” Quinn said. “This happened to my loved one. When someone like that speaks to their legislator, their voice is very powerful."