St. Louis Congressman Lacy Clay says we are in the midst of an epidemic of gun violence that’s “inflicting and devastating carnage” on our community because of the “culture of easy access to gun”. Clay, a St. Louis Democrat, and the St. Louis Aldermanic Black Caucus held a town hall last night at Harris Stowe State University to talk about the city’s gun violence problems. The gathering follows 13 kids getting shot and killed this year in St. Louis.
“Our nation and this community have reached a tipping point,” says Clay. “I come to you tonight not just as your congressman but as a father too.”
Clay urged those in attendance to support his proposed federal gun legislation, which would allow cities to pass gun laws without approval of their state legislature.
“It’s time to break the grip of the NRA on Congress and our state legislature. I’m tired of the violence,” says Clay. “We’re not talking about taking firearms away from someone who lives in Pemiscot County, Missouri. I don’t care what you do out there. Help us with this tragedy.”
Clay asked the audience to sign letters to Missouri Republican U.S. senators Josh Hawley and Roy Blunt, encouraging them to pass bills that would strengthen background check requirements for people buying guns.
St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed questions the family values of Republicans.
“We need to remind them that they are the party of family values, so my question is how can we value the family if we don’t value the lives of everybody in the family? How can we value family if you don’t value the lives of all these young kids that have been shot dead in the streets of St. Louis,” asks Reed.
Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards says there have been 1,651 non-fatal shootings in St. Louis this year.
“The only way that we will stop or stem the shootings in our city – we need you. We need the community. Public safety is everybody’s responsibility,” says Edwards. “So, if you see something or if you hear something, be it as an eyewitness or on social media, please say something.”
A man had to be removed by security after becoming disruptive during Edwards’ speech.
About 250 people attended the town hall.
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