Small group gathers for Las Vegas shooting vigil in Marshall Park

Small group gathers for Las Vegas shooting vigil in Marshall Park

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Close to two dozen people gathered in Marshall Park Friday evening for a special vigil.

The group wanted to honor the victims of the deadly Las Vegas mass shooting and advocate for tougher gun laws nationwide.

The vigil was organized by members of the group, Moms Demand Action.

Christy Clark, chapter leader of the group, spoke to WBTV about the reasoning behind the vigil.

"Coming together for events like this gives everybody a chance to share in their common grief and their common hope that we expect that Congress and our state and local officials will take action to further reduce gun violence in this country," said Clark.

The group read aloud the names of the people killed in the Las Vegas shooting and lit candles to honor the victims of violence.

Among those in attendance was Charlotte reverend Sharon Risher. Risher's mother, Ethel Lance, was one of nine people killed in the Emmanuel AME church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.

"Ever since my mother, Ethel Lance, and my cousins were killed in Charleston shooting in Emmanuel AME Church, I have devoted my life to advocating common sense gun laws and to give a voice to people who have been affected by such horrific tragedies," said Risher.

Risher said hearing about the Las Vegas shooting hit home for her because of what happened to her own mother.

"You know firsthand what these families are gonna go through, the chaos, the havoc, the anger, the not understanding," explained Risher.

In the days following the shooting, much attention has been given to devices known as bump-stocks. They are used to make semi-automatic rifles fire like they are automatic. One of them was used by Las Vegas gunman, Stephen Paddock, during his shooting massacre.

"I just don't see why a person would even need that," said Risher. "I just don't see why a person would need an assault rifle."

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has asked the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives to review whether the devices comply with federal law. Risher's firearm concerns don't stop with bump stocks though.

"I'd like every person that purchases a gun go through a background check. I want our leaders to stand up for the lax gun laws we have and let us find a solution that would help try to prevent some of these mass shootings and individual shootings that are happening every day," said Risher.

NRA officials released a statement of their own in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting. It said in part:

Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks. This is a fact that has been proven time and again in countries across the world.

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