NY Leaders Propose National Gun Violence Awareness Month

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some of New York’s members of Congress are calling for a national gun violence awareness month.

Like breast cancer awareness month with its pink theme, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is proposing a national gun violence awareness month with an orange theme.

“How many more innocent Americans have to die before we declare that enough is enough?” Jeffries said. “We’ve got 5 percent of the world’s population, but 50 percent of the world’s guns.”

It would be held every June, and it’s goal would be to spark events and discussion. It’s already held in New York state, and Assemblyman Keith Wright of Harlem would like to see it go national.

Wright said he could’ve lost his son, who is a college student studying abroad in Paris, to gun violence during the recent terror attacks.

“He was one block away. He told me he smelled the gun powder and heard the gunshots,” Wright said.

The Rev. Al Sharpton said his National Action Network is behind the measure.

“At the same time that we’ve gotta deal with police accountability, we’ve got to work with police in dealing with gun violence,” Sharpton said.

Supporters also include Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.

“Because there are lots of people who will say, ‘Well, if you just stay in this neighborhood, then you’ll be safe. And if you just stay away from this city, you’ll be safe,'” Miner said. ” I’m here to tell you as the mayor of Syracuse that this is not a big-city problem. It’s not a small-city problem. It’s an America problem.”

The measure also has the support of Shianne Norman, whose 4-year-old son was killed by a stray bullet in the Bronx nearly four years ago.

“A 17-year-old and a 19-year-old were the people who shot my son. How is that? Why are we not doing more?” she said.

Leaders at the National Action Network were joined by director Spike Lee, who said there will be no after party for the New York premiere of his new movie about gun violence in Chicago. Instead, he’ll lead an anti-violence march.

“For the first time since 1986, we’re not having a celebration at a premiere here in New York City. We’re going to march,” Lee said.

Lee, Sharpton and others will rally against gun violence in the Theater District on Tuesday.

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