Gun violence awareness weekend June 3-5

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – Over the weekend gun violence made headlines across the country with multiple shootings, taking several lives. In Cape Girardeau, a proclamation was given out this week to recognize gun violence awareness on the weekend of June 3 through 5. 

Leslie Washington, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety national trainer, has personal experience with gun violence. Leslie’s cousin died from suicide with a gun in 1984 and another cousin was murdered in Saint Louis in 2014, that case is still unsolved.  

“I’ve had personal experiences with gun violence so I just use my voice to advocate for others,” said Washington. 

On Monday, Washington received a proclamation from the City of Cape Girardeau for Gun Violence Awareness weekend which she said came at a perfect time.  

“We’ve seen over the weekend and the grocery stores in Saint Louis and different places around the country, it’s just important like I said I’m going to stress it’s importance to get that knowledge out there,” said Washington. 

Leslie says the increase in gun violence in Cape Girardeau since her arrival in 2013 has been another reason to push to raise awareness. 

“It has increased very rapidly and very quickly. it’s just been unsafe just too many things have happened in the community and people are not saying anything,” said Washington. 

During next month’s gun violence awareness weekend Leslie and others are looking to increase the awareness. 

They will be wearing orange shirts and doing a prayer walk. that will involve walking to places where gun violence happened and praying. 

“So, we’re just having a wear-orange kickoff event for the first Friday, and then that Saturday will be partnering with Felicia Patton who lost her son to gun violence,” said Washington. 

Leslie says her goal is to raise awareness and stop senseless violence, not to stop people from having guns  

“I’m not trying to take away your guns. I just want you to be safely storing your firearms because too many children have access to firearms,” said Washington. 

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