‘One is too many:’ Hopkins Co. leaders rallying to combat gun violence
HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (WFIE) - The conversation on gun violence ramped up in February, after two consecutive weekends of deadly shootings due to gun violence.
“We wanted to be proactive, and in doing so, hopefully we wouldn’t have to be reactive once something happened,” says Bill McReynolds, President of the Hopkins County African American Coalition.
McReynolds and others hope the signs they’ve put up already can be a catalyst for continued conversation on the topic. He says they began putting up signs on Memorial Day, and have continued to do so since in visible, public spaces across the county.
“One gun violence death, or shooting, even if it doesn’t result in death, one is too many,” McReynolds said.
McReynolds says he, amongst others, has had enough.
“We don’t want to see it, we don’t want to have it,” McReynolds said.
“We don’t stand for gun violence, and I think that’s important,” said Kayla McCurry.
McCurry says she and her husband stayed in Madisonville to raise their family because she knew it to be safe from her childhood. She says that’s changed in recent times.
“Even in our small tight-knit community, I don’t get even near as much and I hate to even admit that,” McCurry said.
The coalition is partnering with the community, putting up the signs that say, “No more silence, end gun violence.” The signs are funded through sponsorships from local community leaders or businesses and put up in public areas.
“We just wanted to get this resounding message out to the community, to the public,” McReynolds said.
One of the two deaths in February was Reverend Terrence Minor’s son, Terrence Jr., who died following a shooting at Cross Creek Apartments in Madisonville.
“We know the more they see it, the more it’s out there, maybe the more they’ll think,” Rev. Minor said.
Rev. Minor says it’s not the gun that causes the hurt, rather the people who control it.
“It’s the individuals behind the gun that cause the hurt, the pain and the suffering,” Rev. Minor said. “It hurts not only the family that lost someone, but even the family that has not had a death.”
He says he wants people to see the sign, stop, and think before people react. Rev. Minor wants the message to be one of love, but also one of change.
“There’s people out here that love them, that care for them, and want the best for them,” Rev. Minor said.
If you would like to sponsor a sign within the county, you can reach President Bill McReynolds at (270) 836-9097.
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