Community gathers to mourn victims in most recent mass shootings
By Brittany Comak
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) - Some Rhode Islanders are renewing calls for gun control at the federal level after the most recent mass shootings last weekend.
People gathered in Providence Friday night for a vigil, this time for 31 people who died in shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The shootings happened within 24 hours of each other.
"We do not want to gather again to mark another tragedy," said Senator Jack Reed.
"I am sick and tired of mourning," said Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune.
On Saturday a gunman walked into a Walmart in El Paso, killing 22.
The very next day, another gunman killed 9 people in Dayton.
"The gun lobby hopes that the time will pass and everyone will forget about it and go on with their lives, and by the way, that's exactly what has happened in every instance before today," said Congressman David Cicilline.
Authorities say the gunman in El Paso targeted Mexicans.
"When you combine white supremacy with the easy access to a fire arm, the results are even more deadly," said Anna Saal of March for Our Lives. "This is a public health emergency. It's time we start treating it like one."
According to Congressman Cicilline, there are two bills that passed the House that would strengthen background checks, but both died in the Senate earlier this year.
"Senator Reed, I know you want to get back to Washington to pass the senate bill," Saal said. "Push Mitch McConnell to take the Senate out of recess. There are lives at stake!"
Many at Friday's vigil also calling for Congress to reinstate the ban on assault weapons.
"I refuse to cede our public life, our private life, to fear! We don't have to do this," said Reverend Jamie Washam. "And yet we seem to think that there is nothing that we can do."
Congressman Cicilline also said he feels the tide could be starting to turn slightly in the senate.
He says Mitch McConell is for the first time saying he wants to have a conversation about background checks.
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