At the GGS’ annual Community Forum, Brandon Wolf, who survived the June 2016 mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub but lost his two best friends, has turned “pain into purpose” in his ongoing efforts to prevent gun violence.
Some 300 people at Grandparents for Gun Safety’s annual Community Forum heard how Brandon Wolf, who survived the June 2016 mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub but lost his two best friends, has turned “pain into purpose” in his ongoing efforts to prevent gun violence.
Gun violence is “an entirely solvable problem but what’s lacking is the political spine to do what we know works,” Brandon told the audience whose makeup reflected this year’s Forum theme of Gun Safety: Generations Standing Together. “The data tells us what works including universal background checks, red flag laws and limiting availability and access to people we already know are dangerous.”
How to accomplish that goal was the central conversation of the panel of speakers from different generations that echoed Brandon’s remarks.
- From high school student Emma Kuhlman, co-president of Shawnee Mission East High School’s East Against Gun Violence: increase mental health resources and make them more accessible.
- From college student Sam Kim, founder of Students Demand Action at UMKC: refuse to accept gun violence as the new normal.
- From University of Kansas professor Jomella Watson-Thompson, PhD; recognize gun violence often affects minority groups differently and more frequently
- From keynoter Brandon Wolf: attack the root causes that spawn gun violence including poverty and lack of educational opportunities
- From Judy Sherry, founder and president of GGS: combine the lived experiences of the older generation with the energy and social media skills of the younger generation to successfully collaborate.
The Forum was covered by KCTV 5 (CBS) and in a KMBC 9 (ABC) article you can find by clicking here.