Hundreds rally at Fountain Square demanding gun restrictions, opposing Ohio legislation
Hundreds of people gathered at Fountain Square on Saturday calling for gun restrictions in the wake of multiple mass shootings that have taken place in the United States in the past few weeks.
Following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, at least eight mass shootings took place across the U.S. over the following weekend. So far in 2022, 27 school shootings have taken place across the country.
Nearly four years ago and several yards away from the stage, three people were killed and two more were injured after a gunman entered the Fifth Third Center and began firing. Anna Albi leads the Cincinnati chapter of Moms Demand Action.
“We’re here today because we are heartbroken, we are horrified, and we are angry,” Albi said. “But most importantly we are together, and together we can be the force of change to keep the community safe.”
Local leaders took the stage to address the impact of gun violence in the community. In January, Cincinnati officials declared gun violence a public health crisis. Victims of gun violence are disproportionately Black, making up 87% of all homicide victims in Cincinnati last year.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine plans to sign a bill that would reduce the number of hours required for armed school employees from more than 700 to 24. Vice Mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney called the latter a “wild, wild west school law.”
“I mean, is that what we want? More people with guns? It’s just crazy,” Kearney said. “That is not a safe place for our children.”
On June 13, an Ohio law allowing anyone over 21 to carry a concealed weapon in public goes into effect. Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey urged DeWine to veto the bill. While speaking on Saturday, she says the measure will create less safe situations for both law enforcement and the community.
“I support the Second Amendment of the Constitution, but I also, just like you cherish individual freedoms, but want to apply common sense and sensible legislation to keep our children safe,” McGuffey said.
Across the river in Fort Thomas, Northern Kentucky for Gun Restrictions held a rally at Tower Park. More than 100 people were in attendance.