Lawmakers and activists work with victims of gun violence to pus - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lawmakers and activists work with victims of gun violence to push for more legislation

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Emotions running high as Hartford police Deputy Chief Brian J. Foley talked about guns on the street.  (WFSB). Emotions running high as Hartford police Deputy Chief Brian J. Foley talked about guns on the street. (WFSB).
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Gun violence activists and local clergy in Connecticut joined two U.S. senators to take a stand against gun related violence not just in our state, but nationwide.

On the heels of presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's Democratic National Convention speech, lawmakers and those affected by gun violence said they were pushing to make changes.

It was emotional discussion at the Union Baptist Church in Hartford on Friday morning. In attendance were victims of gun violence including Mark Barden, who lost his son in the Sandy Hook School shooting. He's in tune with the mass shooting that have happened recently.

“It's not only about laws but about public awareness and we seeing that now on the federal level and people are finally waking up to this epidemic and we have to do something about it,” Barden said.

Sam Saylor agrees as his son was killed in Hartford in 2012. He said gun violence is too close to home.

“We try to recognize what causes the gun violence in our community,” Saylor said. “Poverty because the real argument is the intense poverty in the north end of Hartford.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Sen. Chris Murphy stood with the families of shooting victims to make their voices heard.

"Given the reality of what happens in Connecticut, what happens every single weekend in Hartford, New Haven, in Bridgeport and what has happened at Sandy Hook," Murphy said. "We have no choice given the fact that in the 3 and a half years since Sandy Hook, nothing has happened." 

Two of Connecticut's biggest cities have fallen victim to gun violence recently.

On Tuesday, Hartford police responded to three shootings in a three hour stretch. Three people were seriously injured. The crimes happened on Barbour Street, Marshall Street and Wethersfield Avenue.

Last Saturday, a man from New Haven was gunned down.

The senators said they are outraged that U.S. Congress hasn't passed anything what they’re calling "substantial" in the fight to stop gun violence.

Gun rights groups have long said gun control laws do no nothing to protect people and only harm law abiding citizens.

"Sadly, the current DNC has abandoned protecting an important constitutional right. Hopefully one day, the leaders of the Democrat party will realize that a lot of their supporters own firearms too. Democrat voters should realize that the actions of Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal will hurt them as much as anyone else when it comes to owning guns. Both of Connecticut Senators are a clear threat to our 2nd Amendment rights," Connecticut Citizens Defense League President Scott Wilson said in a statement on Friday.      

Presidential nominee Clinton said gun control was among the central themes in her speech at the Democratic National Convention. Now, the issue is gaining momentum and many hope something can be done and fast.

"It's too late for my little boy Daniel, too late for Sam,  but we need to continue to push for that awareness and seeing an obsolete tipping point,” Barden said.

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