One day before the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown, Conn., San Francisco elected officials gathered Friday with community groups on the steps of City Hall to mourn the victims of gun violence.
The event, sponsored by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and other community groups, commemorated the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings and gun violence in San Francisco even as news trickled in of another school shooting in Centennial, Colo.
“It just keeps going on,” District Attorney George Gascon said in response to the news about today’s shooting at Arapahoe High School.
“We have to ask ourselves if we’re doing enough and I don’t think we are,” Gascon said. “This event is a reminder that we are not any better today than a year ago.”
Event organizers read off the names of the 26 victims at Sandy Hook and 43 people who they said died of gun violence in San Francisco in the past year, tolling a bell after each name.
Several speakers, including Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and Supervisor John Avalos, called for stronger gun control laws.
State Sen. Leland Yee, who called Sandy Hook a “defining moment,” said that guns were destroying lives.
Yee noted that the resistance to increased gun control came from within the Democratic Party as well as without. His own assault rifle ban was held up in committee in a legislature controlled by Democrats, he said.
“It’s not about banning guns,” Yee said. “It’s about saving our babies, saving our children, and most importantly, saving our souls.”
A large number of gun buybacks and events are planned for Saturday throughout the Bay Area, including a march and rally in San Francisco with U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier and other community leaders.