Hundreds of pairs of shoes covered the street in South Los Angeles on Friday evening, each representing a life lost in a shooting, as residents demonstrated to call for an end to gun violence.
Local residents, clergy members and law enforcement officials including L.A. Police Chief Michel Moore came together at the intersection of Manchester and Vermont avenues to push for federal gun control legislation.
“We’ve got to come to terms with the consequences of gun violence, the devastating cost — the lives that are lost, and the lives that are impacted for generations to come because of just senseless violence,” Moore told KTLA.
Officials estimate that three people die every day from gun violence in Los Angeles.
Assemblyman Mike Gipson, who represents the 64th District that includes some South L.A. neighborhoods, called for the closure of loopholes in the nation’s existing gun laws, such as the ability to buy parts and assemble what are known as “ghost guns.”
“We’re tired of bearing our young. We’re tired of bearing our potential that could be growing up to be something magnificent, that could be contributors to our community,” he said. “Enough is enough.”
Barbara Pritchett, who has lost two sons to gun violence, said it’s had a harrowing effect on her community.
“It’s very unfair to us, especially us mothers,” she told KTLA. “We give birth to our children not for this to be the final outcome for them. We want so much more for them in life, and this seems to be our outcome now.”
Jennifer Rivers, whose son was killed for wearing red sneakers in 2015, said she hopes the memorial erected Friday will awaken people to change.
“What we’re doing right now is to make awareness in the community that it could be your kid next,” she said.