Mishawaka couple speaks out on gun violence in wake of Pulse Nightclub Shooting
SOUTH BEND —
It's been more than two months since a gunman opened fire at an Orlando night club -- killing nearly 50 people.
Many are still mourning.
A local group with the LGBTQ community is using their stories to help prevent more gun violence.
A Mishawaka couple travels around the country to talk about the pain that comes with losing someone from gun violence.
They lost a brother and nephew to violence.
In light of the Orlando nightclub shooting -- they're hoping to make a lasting impact.
"We're here to have an important conversation about how gun safety and gun control affects our communities and learn how we can help. And hear individual's stories,” said Eli Williams, Executive Director of LGBTQ Center.
Stephen Miller and his wife have been impacted by gun violence. They're using their tragic stories in hopes to shed light on the issue.
"We lost two members of our family to gun violence. One from murder and one from suicide. So we have a perspective that I think spans a lot of the experiences people are having with gun violence,” Miller said.
He says they're partnering with the LGBTQ Center in South Bend to discuss how guns can be used as tools for hate crimes like the Pulse Nightclub shooting.
Miller says he's not against guns in general but wants to make sure they don't end up in the wrong hands.
"More about how our laws have made it more difficult for us to determine who should have guns and who should not according to the criteria in particular of our background check system,” said Miller.
"I was thinking about another quote today by Margaret Mead today many of us have heard that is "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it's the only thing that ever has." So I think that's what we're doing here at the LGBTQ Center is hosting these intimate conversations and it's incredibly important and it is what changes the world,” Williams said.
According to The American Journal of Medicine-- Americans are 10 times more likely to be killed by guns than people in other developed countries.
But the Centers for Disease Control says mass shootings account for less than two-percent of annual gun deaths.
It's the shootings that happen in parking lots, homes and bars that are causing most gun related injuries and deaths.