Lansing Remembers Newtown, Local Shooting Victims

Heads bowed lower and lower as a mallet hit a low-pitched bell, emitting a somber tone that pervaded through the chapel at the Union Missionary Baptist Church.

In all, it tolled more than 30 times -- a number that represents fewer than one percent of all gun violence in the year since a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. claimed 26 lives.

"Tears are in my eyes," said Pat Hoskins, a mother and a grandmother. "We know some of these kids in the Lansing area, we know their families and we're hurting for them as they continue to hurt."

Hoskins was one of dozens of people who gathered to mourn the lives taken by gun violence and search for a solution.

"While the date has to do with Sandy Hook, it really does have to do with the deaths of all of our children and others," said Linda Brundage, state lead of Moms Demand Action, a group that sponsored the event. "We are educating, we are advocating, and we are legislating."

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero was one of several speakers pushing for tighter gun control, saying now is the time to act.

"We have to get serious," he said. "No one is trying to take guns away from law abiding citizens. We're talking about basic things like a universal background check. Let's make sure criminals don't have guns."

The city must act together, Bernero said, adding though Lansing hasn't experienced the same magnitude of tragedy as Newtown, that doesn't mean it can't happen.

The first step, said Linda Brundage is raising voices to raise awareness for the cause.

"We are remembering today and we are resolving to have things be different," she said. "So I hope this provides the opportunity for people to do their own remembering of how gun violence has impacted their lives to move on with resolve, to have this be different."

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