People in Staunton hold rally for National Gun Violence Awareness Day

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 9:45 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 2, 2023 at 11:16 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - On Friday, people gathered in Staunton for a National Gun Violence Awareness Day rally.

The National Gun Violence Awareness Day campaign asks people to wear orange in honor and support of victims and survivors of gun violence and people in Staunton did just that.

Participants in the rally said they know their voices alone may not make a legislative change, but, to them, it’s about bringing awareness.

“All politics are local but it’s really helpful to be able to tie into a national movement,” Julie Scofield, a participant at the rally said.

Many used this rally as a call for action.

“I think it’s the coalescing of all these voices at the local level that ultimately and hopefully through elections to come that we’re finally going to get the political will to make the legislative changes that need to happen at state level and at federal level,” Scofield said.

She said the time for change is now.

“I made this sign back in 2018 after some horrendous violence occurred with assault weapons and we here in Staunton had a march and a rally and you know here we are five years later with how many more needless deaths occurring,” Scofield said.

She said the measures they are asking to be taken are common sense.

“We need to have better background checks, we need to have loopholes closed, we shouldn’t be selling high round ammunition you know these are common sense things, I believe most people think they are pretty common sense and I don’t know why there’s not the political will to do something about it,” she said.

Scofield said she believes the changes are something every one can get behind.

“We’re not talking about taking away everybody’s guns, we’re not talking about effecting hundreds of other people who like recreational use of guns. We’re talking about banning assault rifles these are guns that are designed for war,” she said.

Dave Copper, another participant in the rally said he sits at the Augusta County Courthouse almost every week to make his voice heard against gun violence.

“There was an avalanche of ... an avalanche of shootings between March and April it’s too much we have to do something as the people,” Copper said.

Participants said it won’t stop here. They said they will keep coming out until their voices are heard at the local level and change is made up through the government.