Community Rallies to Stop Gun Violence in Minneapolis

June 04, 2017 07:13 AM

Decked out in orange, a group gathered in Minneapolis' North Commons Park Saturday to rally against gun violence.

Wear Orange to Stop Gun Violence Day included community activists, Protect Minnesota and families impacted by shootings.


Kim Ambers blew up balloons for the event, but she would have rather been busy doing it for her son Richard, who would have turned 32 on Saturday. Richard Ambers was shot and killed on Oct. 29 last year in North Minneapolis, leaving behind his wife, three kids and his devastated mother.

"When a husband loses his wife he's a widower, but when you lose your child there's no technical word for it," Kim said. "Nothing can describe that pain."

That very same pain motivated Rachael Joseph to help organize the event and push for new legislation at the Capital for Protect Minnesota. Joseph's aunt Shelley was shot and killed at the Hennepin County Government Center in 2003.

"The woman who shot and killed her bought a gun at a Minnesota gun show through a private sale," Joseph said. "Sixty dollars, no paperwork and no background check. That type of gun sale is completely legal in Minnesota and I want to see that changed."

The Minneapolis Police Department has recovered 399 guns from the city's streets already in 2017; nearly a 60 percent jump from the year before. While that number is encouraging, VJ Smith, the leader of Minneapolis' MAD DADS, said the community needs more resources to provide support and treatment.

"There's a lot of angry people that need therapy," Smith said. "Until we get to that and give them the resources they need, they're going to go out and be angry people in our community."


Tyler Berg

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