Metro residents touched by the shooting came together Saturday night and held a candle light vigil at the State Capitol. The group came met to talk about what happened and what can be done to prevent another tragedy.
“Connecticut is 1,200 miles from Des Moines, but it feels like it’s across the street, and it feel like these people were family, and I don’t know them but it feel like we’ve been assaulted as a nation,” says Heather Ryan of Des Moines.
Des Moines residents gathered to show their support for a tragedy miles away, saying what happened hits close to home.
“These are little children, so I guess because I have children, it’s just affected me in a different way, so I felt that it was urgent that we act and show our support in some way,” says Ryan.
The vigil was organized by the national organization MoveOn.org.
The group encouraged people from all over the U.S. to hold similar events in their communities to raise awareness about gun safety.
“My question is, how many more shootings do we have to see, how many more deaths, how many more kids killed,” says Ed Fallon of Des Moines.
Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad also attended the event saying what happened is bigger than just gun legislation.
He says it’s about coming together as a community, talking to our kids, and finding ways to make our city safer.
“I know we don’t want to talk about it, but maybe it’s time for metal detectors in schools, I mean we’re living in a society now that we have to have that type of conversation, if we don’t we’re playing games with each other,” says Rep. Abdul-Samad.
Rep. Abdul-Samad said while he doesn’t have any legislation he plans to introduce come January, he doesn’t want to see the “Stand Your Ground” bill happen. “Stand Your Ground” Legislation would allow a person to use deadly force in self-defense without an obligation to retreat first. Rep. Absul-Samad says he does plan to introduce community events once a month where people can come together and talk about local and national issues.