NEW YORK — Congress is expected to vote net week on a gun control package in response to the recent shootings across the country.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reports, demonstrators in New York City and across the nation say now is the time for change.
Continuing, there were signs, orange shirts and calls for legislation Saturday in Lower Manhattan at a rally sponsored by the group Moms Demand Action NYC.
Member Diana Rodriquez Alvarado’s teenage daughter was killed by a stray bullet in the Bronx in 2006.
“My daughter Samantha Guzman … She was murdered, being at the wrong place at the wrong time,” she said. “She was about to graduate high school. I buried my daughter in her high school prom dress.”
Also taking part in the rally and march was Antonius Wiriadjaja, who eight years ago was struck by a stray bullet in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
“I was walking to the subway and a man started shooting at a pregnant woman in front of me … But I looked down and I realized I had been shot in the chest. I woke up from a coma five days later, and I was the happiest person on earth but also the angriest,” Wiriadjaja said. “I know what it feels like to have a bullet inside and go through my stomach, though my chest. I would never want that on the worst of my enemies, and that’s why I keep coming to these events and rallying.”
Demonstrators took their message on the move from Foley Square across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Events were held across New York City this weekend as the nation continues to observe Gun Violence Awareness Month, including a gathering with basketball and speeches at Manhattan’s South Street Seaport.
“All we want is people to stop dying. We have to stop the flow of guns coming into our community to begin with, and if they are here, we know that our young people don’t have to pick them up,” New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said.
On Friday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced an $18.2 million investment to support law enforcement agencies working to reduce shootings.
The day before, state lawmakers in Albany voted on a package of new gun safety bills.
“The state of New York has made strides in reducing gun violence and they continue to do. We need the federal government to step up and to prioritize life-saving gun safety measures,” said Andrea Murray, with Moms Demand Action.
“Democrats today, and this administration, have indicated clearly that they desire to take away guns of law-abiding citizens,” said Republican Rep. Andy Biggs, of Arizona.
A federal assault weapons ban is considered unlikely.
“Right now, there aren’t the votes in the Senate to ban assault weapons, but there may be the votes in the Senate to be able to expand our background check system, to help states pass Red Flag laws for additional mental health funding,” said Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, of Connecticut.
“Everybody should be doing whatever they can because this can happen to anybody at any time, anywhere at any place,” Rodriquez Alvarado said.
She says that’s the mantra that motivates her to march and speak out every chance she gets.
The House could vote as early as next week on a gun control package that would include a measure to raise the age to buy a semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21 and a ban on high-capacity magazines.