ST. PAUL, Minn. – Lucy McBath, faith and outreach leader for Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, today joined Minnesota lawmakers, law enforcement officials and gun safety advocates for a press conference in which Gov. Mark Dayton’s chief of staff announced June 2 will be National Gun Violence Awareness Day in Minnesota. Sen. Jeff Hayden convened today’s event in honor of his late sister Taylor, who was killed last August by a bullet intended for someone else, and who would have turned 26 today.
McBath’s son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed in an argument over loud music at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida, on November 23, 2012. In addition to McBath and Hayden, other speakers today included Joyce Hayden; Senator Ron Latz; Senator Dan Schoen; Representative Dave Pinto; Representative Fue Lee; Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman; Jaime Tincher, chief of staff to Governor Mark Dayton; Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell; Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell; Minneapolis Police Chief Janae Harteau; pediatrician Dr. Rhamy Magid; and Tim Nelson, gun violence survivor.
Gov. Dayton’s Chief of Staff Jaime Tincher spoke at the press conference and read a proclamation from the governor naming June 2 as National Gun Violence Awareness Day in Minnesota.
June 2 will be the third annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day. On June 2, 2016, more than 700 influencers, corporations, elected officials, partner organizations and a series of iconic landmarks joined the Wear Orange campaign for the second annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day to honor and remember all victims and survivors of gun violence and to declare that we as a country must do more to reduce gun violence. Spearheaded by volunteers and supporters across the country, events to celebrate National Gun Violence Awareness Day, coined Orange meet-ups, took place in more than 200 cities nationwide.
STATEMENT FROM LUCY MCBATH, FAITH AND OUTREACH LEADER FOR EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY AND MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“Just over four years ago, I found myself on a path I did not choose, fighting a battle I did not start, advocating to change dangerous gun laws I never knew existed. Senator Hayden’s family has also suffered unimaginable loss. Their strength, and the strength of the other survivors here today, is an inspiration to all of us, and I’m honored to join them in the fight to bring common-sense solutions to Minnesota.”
STATEMENT FROM SENATOR JEFF HAYDEN:
“We’ll miss my sister for the rest of our lives, and our grief will push us to keep speaking out even when people tell us that change won’t be easy. We have to do more to prevent the kind of gun violence that took my sister’s life, and that works starts here, in the statehouse, pushing for laws that will make Minnesota a safer state for all of us.”
STATEMENT FROM REPRESENTATIVE DAVE PINTO:
“We have no higher responsibility as public officials than to protect our communities, and it’s clear to anyone who reads the news that we still have work to do in Minnesota. Our constituents expect us not to shrink from longtime problems but to find ways to solve them, and I look forward to working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find ways to reduce gun violence in our districts.”
STATEMENT FROM SENATOR RON LATZ:
“We don’t have to choose between protecting the rights of responsible gun owners and doing more to prevent gun violence. We can do both ― and we must. Study after study shows that common-sense laws like background check requirements can reduce gun violence – and they do so without preventing law-abiding citizens from owning guns. I’m honored to stand here with longtime advocates for gun safety today, and I pledge to do all I can to make sure we’re doing our part in St. Paul to protect our constituents.”