PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Peace not guns. More neighborhoods are rallying to curb gun violence in Philadelphia.
It comes as the city takes more action to protect children from gunfire. It appears that we cover these types of rallies at least once a week or more.
On Thursday, people who lost loved ones to gun violence were not only in attendance, but they also made some demands.
“I need gun laws to be more stricter, it’s too many guns on the street,” mother Tamika Morales said.
“I think the city needs to put up cameras. They’re not going to shoot anybody if they know they are being watched,” mother Angela Ford said.
Families held pictures of their loved ones killed to gun violence.
“This is my son, Ahmad Morales. He was murdered July 3, 2020,” Morales said.
Ahmad was only 24 years old.
“Just walking to the store in South Philly,” Morales said.
This father was only 30 years old.
“Elgin Battle, that’s my son,” Ford said.
He was murdered July 16, not even a month ago near Bartram’s Garden.
“To have him lose his life because he was outside barbecuing kind of hurts,” Ford said.
Dozens of people sat under tents at the Peace Not Guns Call to Action meeting, listening to community leaders like Councilmen Kenyatta Johnson make promises and commitments to a community that is plagued with poverty and crime.
“We have a track record of getting people jobs, training and unemployment, addressing behavioral and mental health issues. But most importantly, providing the resources,” Johnson said.
Johnson, along with other city leaders, is hoping to open three resource centers for young people under 16 who break curfew. This will alleviate them going to police stations if no adults are home.
Back on the corner of 60th and Reinhard Streets in Southwest Philadelphia, these mothers are now lobbyists, hoping Ahmad and Elgin’s stories will make a difference.
“We are going to come to every event and lobby every chance we get for cameras,” Ford said.
Johnson is hoping that grassroots groups form out of these rallies, who will come up with solutions to gun violence.