August 12 2019

Vigil to Remember Shooting Victims and Call for Action on Gun Reform to be Held Wednesday

By: Rich Hosford

There will be a vigil for the victims of the El Paso and Dayton shooting victims that will also serve as a “call for action” on gun control measures organized by area clergy and Burlington’s state representative. 

The event will be held on Wednesday, August 14 at 7 p.m. on the Bedford Town Common in front of the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church. 

On Saturday, August 3 a gunman entered a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and killed 22 people and wounded 24 others. Then roughly 13 hours later another shooter killed 10 people, including his own sister, and wounded 27 others in the Ned Peppers Bar in Dayton, Ohio. The two attacks, so close together, has stirred many politicians and activists to call for tighter gun control measures. 

"State Rep. Ken Gordon and members of the Bedford and Burlington Interfaith Clergy welcome all concerned residents to their call for action, solidarity and assembly in response to last weekend’s events in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas – and in response to all mass shootings that target our most vulnerable residents," an invite to the vigil reads.

Gordon, one of the organizers of Wednesday’s vigil, said he believes it’s time for citizens to come together and take action. 

“This is open to everyone who wants to hear about his issue,” he said. “We should all have concerns. It’s called a vigil but I’d say it’s both a vigil and a call for action.”

Gordon explained he wants to the vigil to be an opportunity to start a serious discussion about why no significant move towards serious gun control ever happens on the federal level and what might be done to change that. 

“I want to discuss ways our concerned citizens and residents can respond because I think the time has passed when we can just observe what is going on in this country and watch these events happen without a response from us,” he said. “I want to talk about why we in Massachusetts can pass gun reform but at the federal level what we have passed here can’t even be considered.” 

 

Gordon reiterated that the vigil is to both honor the victims and to engage participants for further action. 

 

“We are at a moment in time where our society is being challenged, we’re at a time when people want to know what they can do because many people feel so helpless,” he said. “I want to discuss with them what they can do beyond Wednesday. I think we’ll take a list of names and contact information of people who say they are willing to do something about this and we’ll call on them to help. It doesn’t end Wednesday, it starts Wednesday.” 

 

Rabbi Susan Abramson of Temple Shalom Emeth, another vigil organizer, said the event is meant to be a stand against what has become the status quo in the country. 

 

“We are gathering together to stand up to the scourge of gun violence which is plaguing our country,” she said. “We must do whatever we can to stop the killing. As we remember the dead and the wounded, they will inspire us to pledge to do whatever it takes to enact laws and change the culture in our society which enables this sick behavior.”


 

 
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