Midlands community groups host rally for gun violence

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) --The community gathered at the State House Saturday morning as part of the National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

The national event is done to both commemorate those lost to gun violence and to spread awareness on prevention, current law regulations and coping centers.

The Midlands community donned their orange and got the opportunity to talk with local groups such as the Moms Demand Action, SCCADVASA, the Faith Coalition on Gun Violence and more. City of Columbia officials, including Mayor Steve Benjamin, along with the Richland County Sheriff's Department were also in attendance.

One mother, Stephanie Greene, spoke on how her son was killed shortly after coming home from Iraq.

"A group of guys got into an argument and a shooting occurred," said Greene. "Preston was in the back of the parking lot talking to a female. When they exchanged gunfire, he took a bullet basically that was meant for someone else."

Greene says steps must be taken in order to ensure proper repercussions for those who commit these acts.

"We can't live a normal life," said Greene. "Our lives have changed. So, it needs to be something in place so these people know, if you do this, you're going to be held accountable.

"According to the most recent stats from the Violence Policy Center, South Carolina ranks 11th in the nation for deaths by gun violence.

The event held Saturday lasted from 10 until 2.

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