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"Silence the Violence" gun reform event to be held on June 4th.

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Fibonacci Blue | Licensed under CC BY 2.0.
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Speaker at a protest for gun reform

An event in support of gun reform is being held June 4th at a church on Detroit’s east side. The “Silence the Violence” rally will include speeches by government officials and survivors of violence before transitioning to a march along Lafayette Street.

Ryan Bates is a steering committee member for End Gun Violence Michigan, one of the participating groups. He says they want to see laws that prohibit guns in government buildings, require safe gun storage at home, and universal background checks. “It's been six months since the Oxford shooting, and our legislators have done nothing to make us safer and to control the gun violence. So we're going to be calling on our legislators to act now, before more children die,” he says.

The “Silence the Violence” event is organized by Pastor Barry Randolph of the Church of the Messiah. Bates says Randolph started it 15 years ago after being tired of doing funerals for young people who died from gunshot wounds.

Laura Herberg is a reporter for 101.9 WDET, telling stories about people inhabiting the Detroit region and the issues that affect us here. She won a Regional Murrow Award for best Hard News story (Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio) in 2020 and she was named the Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter for radio broadcasting in 2020, 2018 and 2017. In 2012, she was awarded a SoundCloud Fellowship for her project, “Listen to Detroit.” She also is the creator of Complete Me, a podcast with only three episodes about how she has trouble completing tasks.