Below is an article reprinted from the Anniston Star. Please read the article and please watch the video.
Downtown group demonstrates against gun violence
· Mar 29, 2023
More than a dozen people demonstrated against gun violence in front of the Calhoun County Democrats building at the corner of Alabama 202 and Noble Street Wednesday afternoon.
Sheila Gilbert, chairman of the Calhoun County Democrats, said the impromptu demonstration was prompted revulsion at Monday’s fatal school shooting near Nashville along with other recent school shootings.
“We’re going to just meet here today to display our protest of all the killings that are going on, and to hope that there’s some kind of measure that will end all of this,” Gilbert said before the group began the demonstration.
A table inside the local party’s headquarters included buttons and bright orange T-shirts that read ‘Actually Guns Do Kill People, Gun Safety Now’ for the demonstrators to wear.
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Gilbert said she wanted the group to draw public attention to gun violence.
“There’s not an awful lot that we can do. We can encourage people to talk to their legislators in D.C., we can know that mindless killings can’t go on forever and ever and it just seems like there’s no stopping place,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert said she hopes the demonstration will have some sort of useful effect “somewhere down the line.”
“I just read earlier today that since Columbine there have been 376 other school shootings and it just seems to be getting worse and worse,” she said.
There were four colorful pinwheels, each marked with the number 1,000 for people to hold during the demonstration.
Gilbert said the numbers when added together — 4,000 — represent a grim gun violence statistic.
“Every one of them says 1,000, that stands for 4,000 children that have been killed since 2020,” Gilbert said.
During the demonstration, motorists honked their horns as the group held signs that read, ‘Ban Hi-Cap Mags,’ ‘How many kids have to be killed?’ and other statements.
During the demonstration Amos Kirkpatrick told the others he was in the military for 20 years and was in the Vietnam War and issued the M-16 rifle.
“It became the most progressive weapon man has ever made for war but it’s made for war. I’m a hunter, I like to hunt with shotguns, rabbit hunting and shooting a rifle … but that has nothing to do with assault weapons in society where people openly go kill people for no reason at all,” Kirkpatrick said.
And, he added, “the Republicans won’t do a damn thing about it.”
Joanne Pope said what prompted her to come to the demonstration is that people need to come together to find some solutions to gun violence.
“I’m aware that the Agency for Substance Abuse Prevention director Seyram Selase is organizing barbers in an initiative called Barbers against Bullets,” Pope said. “I think that’s a wonderful start and I wish people from all walks of life would come together to try to come up with creative solutions.”
Vernon Presley, vice chair of Calhoun County Democrats, told the small crowd that evil will always get worse and worse as long as people stay quiet.
“Dr. King had said once that our nation will not be judged by the evil that many people did but by the silence of good people who didn’t do anything,” Presley said.
Staff writer Bill Wilson: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @bwilson_star.