Vigil held in Kansas City to honor victims of violence - KCTV5

Vigil held in Kansas City to honor victims of violence

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More than 100 people have been killed by gunfire this year in Kansas City and people took time out of their weekend to gather and remember those who were lost locally and in Newtown, CT, and talk about what can be done in the future to make sure these sorts of tragedies never happen again.

Saturday, Alvin Brooks and the AdHoc Group Against Crime said it's time to have a discussion about guns, gun control and violence in America.

Like most vigils, it started with a prayer.

"Be with this nation as we heal and try to understand," police Chief Darryl Forte said. "Be with the first responders, be with them as they witness the aftermath."

But the day was also about talking, talking about how to stop massacres like Friday's, and the 100 or so people killed by guns in Kansas City every year.

"It's a part of the healing process and I think it's community coming together, who may not know each other. It's grieving together, I think it shows we care about each other," Brooks said. "It's a wake-up call."

Flanked by City Councilman Jermaine Reed and Forte, Brooks said he's looking for change.

"I would hope the president would come forward and we would as a non-partisan way take a look at where we are in relationship to guns in this nation," Brooks said. "We are here just to let it be known these are our children, regardless of race, what part of the U.S. they're in. Their lives have been snuffed away before they were allowed to live."

Reed spoke about the murders in Kansas City and nationwide and said his and everyone at Saturday's vigils thoughts are with the families.

"All the people in Kansas City, in Missouri, that experience these acts of violence, my heart goes out to them," Reed said.

Forte draws from his police experience to convey how first responders must have felt Friday morning.

"I can't imagine anything worse than going and seeing 20 kids deceased in this fashion. It's not like it was a plane crash or something like that. Somebody went in and intentionally did this," Forte said.

He said he supports gun rights for self-defense, but urged gun owners to keep guns secure, so they don't end up in the wrong hands.

"I'm here because I care as a citizen. You know what, there's going to be more of these. People will keep doing what they're doing until we get weapons off the street and keeping weapons safe at home - changing legislation, we're going to be talking about this some more," Forte said. "When we have guns in our houses we need to make sure they're secure."

A dozen or so Kansas Citians joined the group, some just looking to grieve and pray.

"I have grandchildren, it's very emotional thinking it could be your children," one man in attendance said.

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