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WKYC: GCC Gun Violence Action

WKYC: GCC Gun Violence Action

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio -- Hundreds turned out at the Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights to stop gun violence.

The room was filled with people touched by the pain of gun violence. Each one had a story to share, like Mayor Dennis Wilcox of Cleveland Heights, who was moved to tears as he talked about losing police officer Jason West seven years ago. "That event, which happened in our city, was a shock," Wilcox said as he paused to take a breath.

In the back of the room sat a father who lost his son in the Sandy Hook shooting. Romy Adams lost her cousin to carjackers."It's senseless. Why are we preying on each other? We should be loving one another," said Adams.

Their stories have prompted action, getting all walks of faith, economics and professions to come together to form the Greater Cleveland Congregations, or GCC.

They want gun manufactures to set standards that stop the flow of guns to criminals. They also want them to develop technology that personalizes guns so that only authorized users can fire them. Additionally, they want the manufactures to cooperate more with law enforcement to trace firearms used in crimes.

Since U.S. government agencies buy almost half of guns in this country, the GCC is using local cities and law enforcement to pressure manufactures into making the changes."It's economic leverage. We are saying we have these people who want safer, smarter guns, and they should have the opportunity to do so," said Donna Weinberger, co-chair of the GCC.

It won't bring back the victims of gun violence, but it might prevent more from happening.The GCC has visited some of the biggest manufactures in the world to share the changes they want. They have also sent off more than 700 letters to manufacturers demanding the changes.