‘No More Violence’ rally fights to end gun violence in downtown Springfield

Dozens dressed in orange on court square in downtown Springfield to speak out against gun violence in the city’s second annual “No More Violence” event.
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 10:52 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - On Thursday, dozens dressed in orange and held signs on court square in downtown Springfield to speak out against gun violence in the city’s second annual “No More Violence” event ahead of National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

The event is part of the community’s latest to stand up against violence here in the city of Springfield.

The Nonviolent Springfield Coalition partnered with nine other organizers who said they are committed to ending gun violence.

“We are against any type of violence,” said Rev. Lauren Holm. “Domestic violence. We are trying to promote peaceful ways for people to work together.   Everyone gets into conflicts and disagreements but there are peaceful ways we can resolve them without resorting to violence.  We are trying to lift peace and quell all the forms of violence.”

Rev. Lauren Holm from the Nonviolent Springfield Coalition told us why orange is so significant.

“Orange is the color hunters wear so they don’t get accidentally shot while they’re hunting,” said Rev. Holm. “So that’s been appropriated by people concerned with gun violence. We wear orange to highlight the problems of gun violence.”

Mass shootings and other incidents of gun violence continue making headlines across the country.

As of May 1, about 14,000 people have died from gun violence nationwide this year alone, which averages to 115 deaths every day according to the gun violence archive.

The k-12 school shooting database reports nearly 170 shooting incidents at schools so far this year, suggesting more school shootings than days this year.

A number that frightened Springfield resident Amanda Paredes.

“I have three nieces and I am always scared for them to go to school these days,” said Paredes.

Paredes told Western Mass News the threat of gun violence strips away many people’s sense of safety.

“You don’t want your children, your family, your friends to be walking around in a city that’s not safe,” said Paredes. “To not feel like you have that comfort in your own city, in your own neighborhood.”

Rev. Holm told us that her organization is working on introducing curriculum geared towards children to teach them some of those peaceful conflict resolution tactics she mentioned.