As our community continues to recover from the Pulse nightclub massacre and the nation reels from yet another fatal school shooting, the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence is rolling out a series of gun safety public service announcements. The Coalition will begin sharing more than a dozen short videos today featuring heartfelt testimonials that highlight the need for common-sense gun laws, including a state ban on military-style assault weapons.
“So often the conversation promoting dangerous gun legislation is based on incorrect, unreliable and outright dishonest information,” said Patricia Brigham, Coalition co-chair and 1st vice president of the League of Women Voters of Florida. “The Coalition’s goal is to separate fact from fiction to save ourselves from a dangerous gun culture that is literally killing us.”
Among those speaking of their personal pain, deep-felt beliefs and law enforcement experience in the videos are Pulse survivor Chris Hansen; Mayra Alvear, whose daughter was killed at Pulse; David Barden, whose young nephew was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary; Dr. Marcus Levy, pediatric surgeon; the Rev. Bryan Fulwider; Charles Davis, gun owner and Vietnam veteran; and retired Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Verity.
Brigham and Carol Davis, co-president of the Orange County League of Women Voters, are also featured.
“These factual videos continue to shine a light on the reality of safe gun legislation needed in Florida and our country,” said Pamela Goodman, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida. “We are thankful for the voices of these people and are empowered to spread their voices to our lawmakers.”
The rollout comes as Florida legislators are considering proposed gun bills that include allowing firearms to be brought into places of worship and weakening the concealed weapons background-check system. It also coincides with the release of “49 Pulses,” a documentary that shares survivors’ stories.
As the Coalition releases the videos on social media, it asks those who watch to share them with their family and friends, tell their own stories of how gun violence has affected their lives, educate themselves further at www.preventgunviolenceflorida.org, and contact their legislators.
Some videos have been posted to the Florida Coalition To Prevent Gun Violence and League of Women Voters of Florida’s websites and to the Coalition and League Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. In the coming days, versions will appear on both organizations’ Instagram accounts.
“We are very excited to launch this series of informative and compelling videos across the state with the intent of driving people to take action to reduce gun violence,” said Andy Pelosi, Coalition co-chair and director of The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus.”
The Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence was created by the League of Women Voters of Florida after the Pulse shooting to promote smart gun legislation. It has grown to include more than 120 local, state and national organizations and includes such diverse groups as the Hispanic Federation, the Florida PTA, Equality Florida, the Interfaith Council of Central Florida, and Doctors for America.