RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - It was nearly a packed house in an old West Broad Street storefront Sunday morning, now the Richmond office for Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign.
“We need Mike Bloomberg to have a national common-sense gun reform agenda for our country,” said Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to the crowded room.
This was the second stop on the campaign’s ‘End Gun Violence’ tour, which drew in speakers like Mayor Bowser, backing a fellow mayor of a major US city.
“A big-city Mayor myself, our responsibility is to keep neighborhoods safe, and we can’t do that if we have unregulated guns coming into our city to be used for crime," she said.
Gun reform has been a topic on the former New York City mayor’s docket and in order to push that agenda the tour brought along those with a firsthand stake in the matter.
“As a mother, I would not throw my all and my everything into somebody that is just talking," said Calandrian Simpson Kemp, clutching a framed photo of her son, Joseph, Jr.
Kemp and her husband, George, lost their son seven years ago to gun violence. Since then, they’ve supported Bloomberg – even appearing in his Super Bowl ad.
“My child was given to me in a blanket, but because of gun violence, I received him back in a body bag," she said.
“A 9-year-old, a 3-year-old - even in my district - a 12-year-old! This should not be happening. And the opponents of common-sense gun laws, I want them to come with me to a murder scene think that that’s OK," said Richmond City Councilman Chris Hilbert.
He spoke at the event, adding that as the former leader of a large urban landscape, Mayor Bloomberg would be ideal in dealing with getting guns off the streets "to make sure our country changes in a better direction than what it has now,” Hilbert said.
Richmond was one of the last stops in the weeklong journey that began in Florida and ended in Arlington.
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