|Roanoke, VA−On Thursday afternoon, advocates with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Stop the Violence Star City, and the Blue Ridge Coalition Against Gun Violence will protest at the district office of Virginia State Senator John Edwards (D-Roanoke) to call on him to reverse his position and proclaim support for stronger gun laws in Virginia. Following the horrific slaying of two WDBJ-7 reporters on the air on August 26, the three groups had requested a meeting with Senator Edwards to discuss his position on gun policy, but never received a response.
Senator Edwards has represented southwest Virginia in the state Senate for two decades, and during that time his constituents have witnessed horrific gun-related tragedies, including the massacre at Virginia Tech and the WDBJ-7 shooting. Despite all of this gun violence impacting his district, Senator Edwards has repeatedly voted against mandatory, universal background checks and other common-sense proposals. Furthermore, during a vigil on Thursday evening honoring the WDBJ victims, Senator Edwards literally turned his back on constituents who asked him what he was going to do to prevent the next shooting tragedy.
Details about Thursday’s protest are as follows:
WHO: Advocates with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Stop the Violence Star City and the Blue Ridge Coalition Against Gun Violence.
WHAT: Advocates will protest Senator Edwards’ position on gun policy and call on him to reverse it. Specifically, advocates will ask Senator Edwards to declare his support for mandatory, universal background checks on all private sales of firearms and a Gun Violence Restraining Order policy that would allow family members and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from an individual in crisis (like Vester Flanagan).
WHEN: September 3, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: Outside the district office of Senator Edwards, SunTrust Plaza Building, 10 Franklin Road SE, Roanoke, Virginia.
Andy and Barbara Parker, parents of slain WDBJ reporter Alison Parker, cannot attend the protest because of a scheduling conflict, but sent the following message:
“Senator Edwards, are you okay with our children being collateral damage?” asked Barbara Parker.
Andy Parker added, “If what happened last week to Alison and [photojournalist] Adam [Ward] is not enough to change your mind, then tell me what is?”