Pennsylvanians Make Their Voices Heard at CeaseFirePA’s Day of Action to Fight Gun Violence
Harrisburg, Jan. 23, 2013 — CeaseFirePA, a coalition of Pennsylvanians, mayors, police chiefs, faith leaders, and community organizations, today brought hundreds of Pennsylvanians to Harrisburg to demand action by the legislature and Governor Corbett to fight gun violence. CeaseFirePA Executive Director Shira Goodman explained, “To change the status quo, we must make our voices heard. That’s what Pennsylvania mayors, teachers, students, parents, faith leaders and victims of gun violence did today. And it’s what Pennsylvanians must and will continue to do until we achieve meaningful reform.”
Several victims and survivors of gun violence shared their personal stories, including Philadelphia Managing Director and Deputy Mayor Richard Negrin. Mary Beth Hacke of Pittsburgh, a CeaseFirePA Board member who spoke of the senseless murder of her fourteen- month old son urged other parents to get involved in the effort to strengthen Pennsylvania’s gun laws: “We as parents must make our voices heard; we must demand our elected officials take steps that support our ongoing efforts to protect our kids.”
CeaseFirePA’s common sense agenda was presented by four middle school students, who each identified a reform that will make us safer: background checks for all gun sales and ammunition sales; a statewide requirement that gun owners report lost or stolen guns to the police; ensuring that Pennsylvania standards — not out of state standards — govern whether Pennsylvanians receive a concealed carry permit; and a ban on military style semi-automatic assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Goodman explained that the fifth agenda item — having Pennsylvania submit more than 600,000 missing mental health records to the national instant criminal background check system — was accomplished last week.
Speaking on behalf of many Pennsylvania mayors and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Easton Mayor Sal Panto, Jr. and York Mayor C. Kim Bracey urged the legislature and the Governor “to give cities and towns the tools they need to take a stand against gun violence.”
CeaseFirePA’s Goodman urged Pennsylvanians to demand action from elected officials: “The Governor and the legislature need a reason to act. We must give it to them. They must hear our voices every day, in letters, emails and visits. We must make clear that this call to action will be ongoing until we see real change.”
During the press conference, CeaseFirePA unveiled a dramatic new video and online campaign to mobilize Pennsylvanians (links below*). Goodman explained that the goal is for Pennsylvanians across the Commonwealth to see the video, be motivated to sign the petition supporting CeaseFirePA’s common sense reform agenda and continue to engage their elected officials. Goodman concluded her remarks with this call to action: “Together, the people of Pennsylvania must demand action. Together, we are an unstoppable force, and our children are depending on us to make our voices heard.”
*The video can be viewed at https://www.dropbox.com/s/mun2ylryak1y9o3/Cease_Fire_PA_YouTube.mov. For an HD-quality file of the video that is suitable for use on television broadcasts, please use the following link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1jsrh5x0u5szton/CeaseFirePA_for_air_requires_XD_codec.mov (note: requires an XDCam codec to view).