‘Moms Demand Action’ forum focuses on gun deaths

Margie Donlan speaks about a nephew she lost to gun violence. RYAN WELSH / THE COAST STAR
“My sister had to identify our sister through a picture with a bullet in her head.” “I have had approximately six students murdered in my [teaching] years.” SPRING LAKE — Stories like those moved many to tears inside the Brown Room at the Spring Lake Community House, where community members gathered last Wednesday to express their fears, concerns and first-hand experiences with gun violence. The evening event, inspired by a rash of shootings and killings around the nation on June 14, was an Open Forum and Candlelight Vigil hosted by the Monmouth and Ocean Counties Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “June 14 was one of those days that just stopped me in my tracks,” said Theresa Turner, co-lead of the Jersey Shore Moms Demand Action chapter. “I woke up to the congressional baseball game shooting that happened there, and then there was a mass shooting in San Francisco that day … and we thought that if we’re so affected by this — we should probably gather and let people just open up with their feelings or your concerns, your questions, your stories that you might have about gun violence in America.” The forum featured an overview of the events that occurred on June 14 from Elizabeth Friedman, the chapter’s other co-lead, perspective on the gun lobby and its agenda from Brett Sabo, the lead for the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action, and stories from gun violence survivors. Charlene Hoverter, Margie Donlon and Eliot Arlo Colon each told stories of how gun violence has changed their’s, and their families, lives forever.  

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