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Video: Protest, Vigil for Orlando at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia


Check out the video of this morning’s protest at NRA headquarters in Fairfax to protest gun violence, attended by 200+ people. The first speaker was Sen. Adam Ebbin, who notes “I went to a gay bar just blocks from where the shooter lived in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and it just crossed my mind that it could have been any of us…and if the NRA has its way, it will happen again.” Del. Kathleen Murphy noted that she is “the sister of a murdered brother; I know what it is like to get that phone call a member of your family has been murdered…I do not understand why we have elected officials who will prostitute themselves to the NRA…it is time for us as voters to demand [the politicians’] attention…background checks save lives.” Del. Jennifer Boysko said she comes from the Deep South where many members of her own family own guns, but even they agree “that access to firearms at this level – high capacity firearms – is absolutely ridiculous, they give unstable people the ability to cause mass murder, and it’s not ok…We’ve got to take action…your vote counts in every single election…stand up against this NRA lobby…enough is enough.” Virginia Tech mom Lori Haas, who said this “carnage of gun violence that visits our community on a daily basis,” and if politicians won’t do their jobs to keep our communities safe, we need to vote them out of office.

  • From the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy:

    This is a time that will define us, our local communities, our nation and our global interconnecting of nations. We have seen once again, too vividly and too cruelly, the face of hate and bigotry — the insinuations of religious faith discrimination that sear and divide. We must therefore respond as a people with a sense of unity of resolve and present an ethos of solidarity that offers hope through an alternative vision of a world community that fosters hope and the prospect of peace, shalom and salaam.

    We cannot ignore the contrast in reactions to violence that exists in our society. That separation of views came into clarity almost a year ago on June 17, 2015, in Charleston, S.C., when people of faith demonstrated to the world community that love is more abiding and healing than revenge and retribution. That dynamic witness has empowered many new and stronger relationships between African American faith communities and all other faith groups. In a similar fashion, the LGBTQ community and the Muslim communities are responding in positive healing signs to encourage reconciliation and a deserved national grieving to mourn the loss of life and the divisive spirit that has infected our nation and world. The mutual goal is to create deep and lasting values and actions that nurtures trust and friendship for mutual support and upbuilding of relationships.

    The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy lifts up a vision that underscores this belief: A world where people of all faiths cooperate to create compassionate communities that are just, peaceful, equitable and sustainable.

    The Orlando massacre at the Pulse Club can bring out the best or the worst in us. Let us resolve to work in unity for that which builds and unites communities of faith and diversity of race, gender and nationality and weaves a spirit of solidarity into the fabric of a shared community of love, peace and fairness for all God’s children. We must recognize the evil that destroys and affirm the positive spirit that creates and unifies us.

    Many statements have come forth in recent days denouncing the brutality and the carnage wrought from a person whose mind was not right, whose heart was bent wrongly toward others and whose actions have been embraced by some who are intent to destroy the world community. Yet, arising from these ashes of pain come words from the ADAMS Center that speak for all of us:

    The response to hate must be love.

    The response to violence must be peace, born of solidarity.

    The response to loss must be grief followed by hope — hope of a more noble and generous world that we can build together.

    Indeed, we grieve. Yet, we also must yearn for hope, healing, reconciliation and a stronger community of solidarity — built upon positive values for the welfare of all God’s children. May we together make it so!

  • From Del. Mark Levine:

    Please join us tomorrow night at 7 pm for a vigil in Market Square.
    We will mourn for the victims of the Orlando Massacre.
    And we will pledge that they not die in vain.
    Amidst my anger and grief, I don’t know exactly what I’m going to say. But I do know as a gay man, as the brother of my only sister murdered when she was 33, and as an advocate of strong, enforceable gun safety laws, I have a lot to say.
    Please join us.
    Please join us as we express our collective grief for the innocent lives cut short by this senseless act.
    Please join us as we express our outrage at the nation’s gun laws that allow these atrocities to occur day after day after day after day after day after day….
    Let us pray.
    But let us do more than pray.
    Let’s rouse up our fellow Americans and work hard together to finally change the laws — or to elect people who are willing to change the laws — so that we finally have strong and enforceable gun safety laws.
    We must make it illegal in Virginia and in America to sell firearms to people known by the authorities to be terrorists, domestic abusers, violent felons, and the violently mentally ill. And the only way to do that is with a universal background check.
    We must keep weapons of war on the battlefield and out of our schools, theaters, churches, and night clubs.
    And we must do so before — God forbid — Alexandria joins the List, that awful List of cities and towns whose names have become synonymous with horror: Sandy Hook, Tucson, Charleston, Aurora, Columbine, and now Orlando. (I know I’m leaving out hundreds of other cities and towns. It would take several pages to name them all.)
    When will it stop?
    When we committed citizens make it stop.
    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead
    Please help us change the world. God knows we need your help.