Mississippi mothers are speaking out against gun violence, joining a nationwide effort to urge Congress to pass gun control legislation. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.
"Every time I hear of gun violence, it's like a bullet hits me," said Shelby.
Forty-six year old Tonjula Shelby of Jackson is talking about the death of her son Kimondra Mason. The 25-year old was shot multiple times while riding in a car in April of 2017. Shelby is with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and supports other gun violence survivors.
"I plead to you as a mother of an only child, who is deceased, laying in the grave because of the senseless act of an individual who took his life to please join forces with us and help us gain control of this and bring a cease to it," said Shelby.
Moms Demand Action is rallying in Jackson Saturday. They're joining chapters nationwide, to urge the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate to pass gun control legislation passed by the House, where Democrats are the majority. Recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio have heightened concern. Mary Helen Abel heads the local group. They want a national Red Flag Law passed that allows police to temporarily confiscate guns from those who may be a danger to themselves or others.
"Not only does it prevent things like mass shootings which are the ones that grab all the headlines but it's not the bulk of gun violence in America, it also has huge, huge impacts for suicide by gun," said Abel.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017, there were 632 firearm-related deaths in Mississippi. About 50 people took part in the event. We reached out to members of Mississippi's Congressional Delegation and will share their responses when they come in.