A Bowling Green group that advocates reforming U.S. gun laws is holding a vigil on Saturday, Aug. 10. It's some of the local response to the fatal shooting of 31 innocent people in two states during the previous weekend.
The massacre at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas that left 22 people dead and a shooting less than 24 hours later in an entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio that killed nine people has set in motion a call for laws to help end gun violence.
Haley Rinehart is the Bowling Green coordinator for 'Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.' She said the group supports background checks on gun sales, as well as red flags laws that temporarily allow guns to be taken away from someone who poses a threat themselves or others.
“You know, we’re angry and we’re upset and this is senseless and it could be stopped," said Rinehart. "The House has already passed a background check bill. Now it’s up to the Senate to take it under consideration and pass it. It’s long overdue and we need to close these loopholes, make red flag laws a thing, because we could prevent some of these people from getting access to guns.”
Rinehart said her activism arose from personal experience.
“My son was four years old, he and his little brother who was one, went on a visit with his father to Louisville to visit their grandmother and he found an unsecured gun laying on a stack of childrens books on the headboard of a bed," said Rinehart. "He had been told never to touch a gun, but curiosity, like it does with any kid, got the best of him. He picked it up, it slipped in his hands and he shot himself through his right eye.”
Rinehart’s son is now 21 years old and has been through several neurosurgeries and suffers from PTSD.
Rinehart said she advocates for sensible guns laws so other families don't have to go through traumatic, or tragic, experiences.
Moms Demand Action will hold the vigil at Mitch McConnell’s Bowling Green office at 241 East Main Street at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, although the senator is not expected to be there.
Group members will have postcards that can be mailed to McConnell urging him and the Senate to take action on measures to prevent gun violence.