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Black Pastors Say New Federal Gun Law Should Be Just The Beginning

Congress passed a limited bill aimed at preventing to prevent gun violence after the school shooting in Uvalde, Tx.. President Biden invited Black pastors to a ceremony this week. These same pastors visited the White House in 2013, after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, to urge then-President Obama to fight gun violence in communities of color. Obama’s 2013 gun violence prevention plan did not include funding community outreach programs or mention the disproportionate rates of gun violence in Black communities. Pastor Michael McBride, the national director of the Live Free Campaign, called this week's White House event a “full circle moment.” He is happy that Democrats and Republicans are working together to prevent gun violence. However, not everyone is celebrating, The Guardian reports.

Biden’s South Lawn speech was interrupted by protest from Manuel Oliver, who lost his 17-year-old son, Joaquin, in the Parkland, Fl. school shooting in 2018. While gun control advocates believe that Congress’s new bill made some progress, many still think more work needs to be done. Rev Jeff Brown, a Boston minister and a collaborator in “the Boston miracle,” a successful effort dating from the 1990s to curb gun violence in Boston, said the ceremony left him feeling hopeful. He was disappointed in 2013 that the first Black president did not address the Black community in his effort to prevent gun violence. He said that the new Safer Communities Act was just the beginning of a wider effort to prevent gun violence. As mass shootings continue to grip the nation most recently, the July 4 shooting in Highland Park, Il., advocates are still working on other ways to curb gun violence.


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