WILLIAMSPORT — Around the country, demonstrators on both sides of the gun control debate rallied supporters on this six month anniversary of the deadly shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
Standing across the street from the Federal Courthouse in Williamsport, holding signs, asking for stricter gun laws, these half-dozen or so gun control advocates wanted to keep pressure on lawmakers to do something.
Namely they want laws that require universal background checks.
“It might only prevent a few, but that’s a few, and a life is a life. As much as we can protect human life we should be doing it,” said Allison Hirsch of Williamsport.
The rally took place exactly six months after a pivotal moment in the debate over gun control. The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School energized people who believe gun violence in America is out of hand.
“There is an epidemic that has swept the country. The only way we can fight it is by people standing up, speaking and saying enough is enough,” said Richard James of Williamsport.
The latest deadly shooting in Williamsport happened in the middle of the afternoon Thursday at this apartment on West Fourth Street. Now a 22-year-old is dead, a 19-year-old behind bars, and people who want stricter gun laws wonder what it’s going to take for lawmakers to wake up and do something to prevent these kinds of deaths.
“It seems to me it’s happening more and more. It feels like every week some new horror or tragedy has been visited upon us,” said Pat Scott of Williamsport.
Scott’s son Andrew Gula was shot and killed in 2011 after a fight at a bar in the city.
She and the others here believe background checks are the least lawmakers can do if it means saving lives.
“It baffles me that we won’t take steps to at least, even though we can’t eliminate it, we can lessen the number of people who die from this each year.”