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Michigan moms to lead vigils against gun violence

Photo courtesy of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

On the first anniversary of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings, Michigan mothers will join moms from 34 other states in commemorating the lives lost to gun violence, and to encourage others to speak out.

It's been one year since 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School before taking his own life.

Linda Brundage leads the Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense and says despite some new security measures at schools, not enough has been done to prevent a similar tragedy.

"Very little has happened in Michigan to make our children safer," she points out. "What will make us safer is less access to guns."

Michigan lawmakers did vote this year to make it easier to buy rifles and shotguns out of state, eliminated the requirement that pistol owners have a license before buying a gun, and allowed court judges and jail employees to carry concealed weapons in no-gun zones.

The vigils will take place Saturday in Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit, and are open to the public. More information is at MomsDemandAction.org.

Brundage stresses the group is not anti-gun and firmly supports the Second Amendment.

However, she says the current culture of violence in this country necessitates a call for more responsible gun ownership and tighter background checks, particularly when it comes to Internet sales and gun shows.

"It's 20 years since the original Brady background check passed, and that has prevented more than two million people, mostly felons, from getting guns," she stresses. "However, there are too many loopholes."

Moms Demand Action was founded the day after the Newtown tragedy and was instrumental in persuading Starbucks to ban guns from its coffee shops earlier this year.