VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — It’s been just over seven months since the mass shooting in Virginia Beach.
On Tuesday, a group showed up at the site of the tragedy to raise awareness of gun violence.
Organizers set up a memorial outside the Municipal Center to honor all the victims of gun violence in the United States.
Everyday, there are at least 100 people who die from gun violence in this country. And that’s why there were 100 T-shirts on the lawn at the Municipal Center Tuesday.
“I came here today because my daughter Claire was shot and killed in 2006 by her ex boyfriend,” said Kate Loring. Her daughter represents one of the t-shirts outside the Municipal Center. Loring placed her photo and flowers next to a shirt.
“We are all working toward some of the same goals, and I want to support them,” she said.
Suzanne Saltisiak is one of the organizers. She helped place the T-shirts.
“To give some visual representation, for people to understand that impact. For people to see the toll, the real toll that gun violence takes. To redirect and refocus that conversation,” she said of the memorial.
Saltisiak said the conversation about Second Amendment sanctuaries only scratches the surface.
“If we can, during that crisis point, disrupt the access [to] lethal means — because we know somebody has that potential — we would have a lot less t-shirts out here everyday and that’s what it’s about. It’s not about taking guns away from people who use them safely and responsibly, it’s about control[ling] access to lethal means for those who are a danger to themselves and others,” she said.
“Nine of them are children’s shirts,” she said of the memorial. “Nine children die everyday as a result of gun violence. You’ll see that 60 of them are purple or teal or pink and those represent the 60 people everyday who take their lives using a gun… The two that are yellow represent those accidental shootings and white homicide,” she said.
Loring said losing her daughter to gun violence put her in a club she never wanted to be a part of — and these shirts mean so much more.
“It’s 100 mothers, it’s 100 brothers and sisters, 100 grandmothers,” Loring said.
This display will be outside building 10A of the Municipal Center until 9 p.m. The public is encouraged to come by and find peace or write a message in the memorial book.
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