East Tennesseans at Newtown vigil call for end to gun violence

East Tennesseans at Newtown vigil call for end to gun violence

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Members of the grassroots Organizing for Action group held a candlelight vigil Saturday night for victims of the Newtown massacre and others taken by gun violence. Members of the grassroots Organizing for Action group held a candlelight vigil Saturday night for victims of the Newtown massacre and others taken by gun violence.
Bells rang in the Mechanicsville neighborhood for each of the 26 victims killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Bells rang in the Mechanicsville neighborhood for each of the 26 victims killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Members of the grassroots Organizing for Action group held a candlelight vigil Saturday night for victims of the Newtown massacre and others taken by gun violence.

The overriding message was preventing gun violence in the future.

Bells rang in the Mechanicsville neighborhood for each of the 26 victims killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"Newtown is a hook for us to focus on preventing violence," said Susan Miller from Organizing for Action.

The vigil was held near where Uniqua Brown was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting while walking into her home.

"We have witnessed untimely death with our youth," said Stan Carter, a pastor at Overcoming Believers Church.

Carter, who lost his own mother when he was five years old, eulogized Brown.

He also pointed to other instances of gun violence. A man was shot to death earlier this month in front of his home on Woodbine Avenue.

"He was coming out of his home, taking food to his family, and gunned down for no reason," said Carter. "We want to try to put an end to this."

People at Saturday night's vigil also called for an end to violence against children.

"The second deadliest killer of children is guns," said Ken Libby from the Children's Defense Fund. "We're not making enough progress yet."

Organizing for Action, community organizers helping to advocate for the agenda of President Obama, believes leaders in Washington need to do more.

"People are throwing around a lot of ideas," Tamsen Smith, a Knoxville resident, said. "But I don't think cohesively everyone has come together and done as much that could be done."

There have been around 11-thousand shooting deaths since the Newtown shooting, according to a recent report.

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