On Sunday, December 13 at 3 p.m., local parents, advocates, and concerned citizens will gather in Northside to recognize the third anniversary of Sandy Hook with a Wear Orange Walk honoring the victims and survivors of gun violence. The walk is sponsored by the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action, a nonpartisan organization that aspires to a future free from gun violence. Moms Demand Action advocates for background checks in combination with responsible gun ownership and increased safety measures.
The walk will also provide a platform to raise the level of debate about gun control in Cincinnati.
“We’re trying to have an open dialogue about how to prevent mass shootings and end senseless gun violence,” says Kate Haralson, a local mother of two and a public health professional. “We’re not trying to leave anybody defenseless. We don’t want to take your guns away.”
Haralson, along with another local mom and school therapist, Stacey Cookman, saw the potential to broaden the conversation around gun control in anticipation of the third anniversary of Sandy Hook. The pair reached out to Moms Demand Action to organize a local event.
“I want to bring the city together to talk about real solutions,” says Cookman. “When we’re just arguing from extremes, nothing gets done.”
With so many political conversations taking place online, where issues are quickly and perilously polarized, both women hope that proponents of stricter gun control measures aren’t the only ones who will be in attendance at the walk.
“I would love to see gun owners present. I feel that what we’re advocating for is really protecting their rights,” Haralson says. “We want to make it harder to get guns, but we also want to legitimize it.”
Community leaders and survivors of gun violence will briefly address the group, who will assemble in the Building Value parking lot and walk to Hoffner Park. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to wear orange. Attendees will also have the opportunity to connect with Moms Demand Action for opportunities to reach out in support of survivors, and sign up for critical updates about local gun legislation.