COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Several groups across Columbus came together Saturday to call for an end to gun violence in their community.
Hundreds gathered in Maloney Park in Linden, wearing orange shirts emblazoned with “End Gun Violence” as part of the national Wear Orange weekend, a movement started eight years ago to honor and remember the victims and survivors of gun violence.
Saturday’s event featured many Columbus groups including Moms Demand Action, Mothers of Murdered Columbus Children, and We Are Linden, all coming together to educate and raise awareness about gun violence in their community.
“A 15-year-old and an 18-year-old were killed in Columbus last night,” said Laura Robertson-Boyd with Moms Demand Action. “It’s just too much. We have to do something.”
“It hurts,” said Ralph Carter with We Are Linden. “Losing someone hurts, and we want to make sure that we champion and make sure these young people have things and something positive to look into.”
One of those at the park was Jacqueline Casimire with the group Mothers of Murdered Columbus Children.
“We do not want to accept any more mothers,” she said. “We don’t want to pass out any more orange shirts.”
Casimire lost her son Ray to gun violence nearly two years ago, and she said while his case ended up being solved, there are so many others who don’t have that closure.
“Until the community speaks up, there’s going to be hundreds of mothers that, every day, wake up not able to start closing that wound,” she said. “Because it’s still raw, because they don’t have any answers.”
In the United States, more than 110 people are killed by gun violence every day.
“This is an epidemic that has to be addressed, especially in the wake of all these mass shootings we’ve had recently,” Robertson-Boyd said.
The Wear Orange event will continue Sunday.