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Honor a Survivor of Gun Violence During Gun Violence Survivors Week

MomsDemandActionThis letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 from the Westchester Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America:
Every single day, 100 Americans are killed by gun violence and hundreds more are shot and injured. For every person that is killed in the US, dozens more must live with the pain that they will never see their loved one again. And countless Americans who survive gun violence, or have witnessed it, have to live with damaging trauma, changing that person’s life forever. According to the CDC, an estimated 80,000 people survive nonfatal injuries in the US each year.

People who have had loved ones taken by gun violence, or who have survived gun violence themselves, are called “survivors.” There are so many survivors in this country that you’re likely to know one. In fact, you may be a survivor without having thought of yourself as one. Approximately 44% of Americans report knowing someone who has been shot. I believe that survivors of gun violence have the unique moral authority to remind elected officials and everyday Americans that our weak gun laws have serious consequences and to urge them to take action to reduce gun violence.

The first week in February is Gun Violence Survivors Week, because by early February, more Americans are killed with guns than are killed in other high-income nations in an entire year. I’m a volunteer with the Westchester Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and we are spending this week honoring gun violence survivors and encouraging them to use their voices to speak up, share their stories, and ask others to take action to end gun violence.

We hosted an event last Saturday that featured speakers from all backgrounds talking about their experience with gun violence and the lives they lost. Nathalie Arzu spoke about the loss of her brother and Ellen Brown spoke of the loss of her mother. Dwayne “Coach D” Murray talked about his work with the Shamoya Mckenzie Foundation, while Shamoya’s mother, Nadine, told her story of survival after 13-year-old Shamoya was taken by gun violence on New Years Eve in 2016. London Reyes, of AAA All-Stars, discussed his work supporting the youth of Yonkers.

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Majority Leader of the New York State Senate, gave a passionate speech about the importance of gun safety legislation and the power of grassroots groups like Moms Demand Action. Her speech came just a few days after the State Senate passed several sweeping gun safety bills, further strengthening New York law and making our communities safer.

If you weren’t able to attend the event last Saturday, please join us in honoring survivors of gun violence in Westchester and across the country. Connect with a survivor and take action to change this devastating epidemic of gun violence in America.

Shelli W. Katz
Co-Leader of the Westchester Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

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