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Moms Demand Action in St. Louis

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Speakers and dignitaries gather for a group photo after the Moms Demand Action rally in downtown St. Louis on March 30, 2013 (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Speakers and dignitaries gather for a group photo after the Moms Demand Action rally in downtown St. Louis on March 30, 2013 (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The national group “Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America” has a St. Louis chapter headed up by Melissa Brooks.

She says the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut prompted mothers across the nation to speak out as one, “I really woke up after Sandy Hook. It was just too much to see. Now I’m much more aware of the daily gun violence, especially here in St. Louis, and it’s just not OK anymore.”

Brooks is calling for federal legislation requiring universal background checks for gun sales and for laws to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Pastor James T. Morris of Lane Tabernacle Church agrees with the call for the bans, “They’re not for hunting rabbits, ducks, or deer. They’re for hunting people.”

Brooks and Morris were among the speakers at a Kiener Plaza rally in downtown St. Louis, Saturday, organized by the Moms Demand Action group.

So was St. Louis Children’s Hospital emergency room doctor Bo Kennedy. He said increased gun control is a health and welfare issue for America’s youth, “772 children. That’s how many injured or killed by gunfire who were seen at Children’s Hospital in St. Louis since 2002. That’s 70 children per year.” Dr. Kennedy went on to say 35% of them were under the age of 15.

Meanwhile, across the walk from the rally, the head of the Gateway Civil Liberties Alliance held up a sign that said “Guns Save Lives.”

Steve Marx told KMOX News he opposes efforts to create new gun control laws, “They’re exploiting tragedy committed by a madman and his criminal behavior and criminal acts. They’re blaming me as a law-abiding citizen and seek to punish me and take away my civil liberties. I will not surrender them freely.”

Marx said he feels existing gun laws need to be enforced properly, not have new ones created.

He also said he should be allowed to sell a gun to a trusted friend without needing a background check performed.

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