Giving their hearts and soles to prevent gun violence: Shoes placed outside the Capitol building
MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Hundreds across Wisconsin are giving their hearts along with their soles. On Monday afternoon, September 22nd, 467 pairs of shoes were placed outside the Capitol Building in Madison — as a visual display of the impact of gun violence.
An average of 467 people are shot and killed every year in Wisconsin. Each pair of shoes represents each of those victims.
“We’ve gotten to the point in our country, where we have started to accept gun violence as normal. I think seeing these shoes drives home the point that there is nothing normal about this” Jeri Bonavia, the executive director of WAVE (Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort) said.
Many, including law enforcement officials, clergy, and gun violence survivors are coming together to travel around Wisconsin this week as part of the Hearts & Soles tour. They’re trying to reduce gun violence through education, awareness and a push for background checks.
The tour kicked of Monday in Madison and will wrap up on Saturday in Milwaukee.
“I was thinking that I would not live. It was the worst thing in my life, but the gratitude to being alive was there. I now have a renewed energy to make sure that no one else has to suffer that,” Kristina Paris, who was robbed and raped at gunpoint a few years ago near Milwaukee.
The shoes will eventually be donated to charities in Milwaukee.