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Organization leaders hold unity event at Penn Park to address recent gun violence in Madison

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -Community members gathered at Penn Park Sunday afternoon to discuss solutions to end gun violence in the city of Madison.

Organization leaders say the violence is weighing heavy on not only adults, but children too.

“We usually just walk around, play at the park and come over here and play basketball,” Lamont Moses, 11-years old said.

Shooting jump shots at the basketball court is where you’re most likely to find the Moses brothers.

“My dad played it when he was little, and I really love the sport,” Moses said.

The young kids said lately, while playing outside, they have to be more careful.

“Sometimes I fear ‘what if one of my friends or family gets hit?” he said.

The 11-year-old said the recent gun violence hasn’t hit close to home, but he worries it could.

“When I’m going to sleep, I think about a whole bunch of things, and a shooting near our house is one of them,” Moses said.

Organization leaders said stopping the violence starts with holding a conversation with the community.

“We want to hear from the community that’s actually being affected by the gun violence,” Felicia Anderson, DSS Community Center director said.

Anderson is the director of a local program for at-risk youth. She helped organize the unity event at Penn Park to put a stop to gun violence.

“How can we protect our kids in the future?” she said. “As a mother, to know there are babies killing babies, it’s devastating. It’s tragic.”

On Aug. 11, an 11-year-old girl was shot while in a car in Madison. Police said the shooting suspects were in their teens.

“Our kids are not bad. They just need guidance. They’re misled,” Anderson said.

Anderson said a fix to the gun violence problem could be more funding for organizations to provide safe spaces and educational, productive activities for the youth.

“When the city ignores us and dismantles our organizations by choosing not to fund us and funding larger organizations, our initiatives go away,” she said.

It’s a problem with many layers, but the Moses brothers said there’s one easy solution.

“They need to stop shooting because you never know where the bullet could go,” Moses said.

The unity event was followed by a march down Park Street to bring attention to the need for change.

Copyright 2020 WMTV. All rights reserved.

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