City, state and community leaders stand at the front of the Unity in the Community Walk.

Tuesday evening, local politicians and community members gathered at the 77th Precinct in Crown Heights for a Unity in the Community Walk in response to the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the deaths of five police officers in Dallas, Texas.

Led by State Senator Jesse Hamilton and the United Against Violence Taskforce, the concern citizens and officials walked from the 77th Precinct down Utica Avenue to Lincoln Terrace Park.

During the traffic-stopping march, we asked members of the community, what they believe has attributed to the national rise in gun violence and their ideas on how to best address it.

Here are their responses:

“It seems like anybody who want’s a gun can get it. You have those who are against guns and then you have the Republicans who want the guns. The best thing we can do is what we are doing now. It’s time for all the community to get together. We’re tired. We’re not going to take it no more. It’s the only way we can stop it because lives matter. If we sit and do nothing it’s not going to stop. We have to change the laws. We have to stick together.”  – Julia Boyd, 80
“There aren’t enough [gun] regulations– any Tom, Dick and Harry really can get a gun. I’m just concerned for my safety, my son’s safety and the community as a whole. I think this [march] is a path to it; with us together as a whole, I’m just optimistic that we can make that happen.” – Rosemary Oquendo, 41
“[Gun violence is a problem] because the legislators are not doing what they’re supposed to do. The politicians, the Republicans, they’re stopping the Democrats from doing what needs to be done when it comes to gun violence. We have to get everyone together. Everyone has to sit down and have communication across the board. Democrats and Republicans, those are the ones that’s in charge. We’re not in charge. They are in charge of the guns, the politicians.” Janet Chapman, 50
“[The problem of gun violence] hasn’t been addressed fully. We’re talking about it, but the politicians need to put more emphasis into bringing about some kind of equality. There’s still too much [injustice] being done to black people. They have to change a lot of policies and within every state that has to be done because it doesn’t matter what color you are. But when you look at the percentage of black people being killed by whites, it’s continual and it’s across the nation. This is why policy throughout the country needs to be changed.” – Joe
“Not a lot of people are teaching people about what comes with guns, number one. Number two, they are just so readily supplied and so easy [to get], before the information can come to you, somebody’s already doing time. For me the biggest thing is lack of education because if you had more education, you wouldn’t do it.” –Robert Howell, 21
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Shiloh Frederick

Shiloh Frederick reports for BK Reader. She is a recent graduate of Mount Holyoke College, where she earned an undergraduate degree in history, with a minor in journalism. Shiloh is now dedicating her...

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  1. Thank you for sharing that portion yob your website and also showcasing my artwork. I only ask if my name can be edited and corrected to “Robert Howell”. Thank you again BK Reader

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