The Brooklyn Bridge became a symbol of anti-gun advocacy on Sunday when hundreds of people gathered with candles in hand to memorialize those lost during the Sandy Hook school massacre in Connecticut. Participants also said they want to send a message to elected officials for stricter gun laws.
The gathering, “Hands Across the Brooklyn Bridge,” was put together by state Sen. Erica Adams and civil rights attorney Norman Siegel. While the crowd of diverse people highlighted the Sandy Hook shooting, people were also raising awareness about the gunfire that happens on city streets on a regular basis.
“Bullets don’t discriminate,” Adams said. “They strike targets, and the emotional trauma from gun violence is never-ending. When the country’s forefathers sat down and wrote the Second Amendment, they were not talking about an Uzi, not an AK-47. The Constitution is a living document and should be adjusted for today’s times.”
Adams added that the demonstration was to energize New Yorkers who denounce the killings that occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and the ever-
prevalent gun violence in urban communities. He hopes the message will go to other elected officials in the White House, Congress and state capitols to act against gun violence now.
Brooklyn District Leader Robert Cornegy said that those who have died from senseless gun violence are never forgotten. His organization had a black wooden statue of a human figure to symbolize those lost to gun violence. He plans to place the figures at places where gun violence occurs, similar to the Ghost Bike project.
“We understand that we have been somewhat desensitized by all of the gun violence and we just want to keep the memory that these are people’s children, people’s sons, people’s daughters, people’s fathers, by having this symbol,” he said.
City Council Member Letitia James was also at the gathering because she said she was tired of going to funerals and burying children.
“It’s really critically important that we have responsible gun laws and we ban assault guns in this country,” she said. “There’s no reason any individual who seeks to hunt or needs a gun for protection really needs a gun that can fire off all of these bullets in a matter of minutes.”