‘Stories of survivors:’ Milwaukee voices join national conversation focused on ending gun violence

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Karin Tyler

MILWAUKEE -- City of Milwaukee leaders will launch new programs this summer aimed at putting a stop to gun violence. On Sunday, Jan. 28, strangers shared tragic stories, none of them ever thinking they'd be in this position, serving as anti-violence advocates. The event was organized by the City of Milwaukee's Office of Violence Prevention and "Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America."

"I had to identify my son through a camera. I couldn't even go and hold my child," Karin Tyler said.

"Dec. 8, 1979. My mother shot and killed herself," Khary Penebaker said.

Khary Penebaker

Lucy McBath

"He took out his 9 millimeter Glock and continued to shoot 10 rounds into the car. Three of those rounds actually did hit Jordan -- murdered Jordan," Lucy McBath said.

McBath lost her 17-year-old son in 2012 in a high-profile case in Florida. The killer was upset the boy was playing loud music with his friends, and fired into the teen's car. McBath has advocated for gun law changes nationwide ever since.

On Sunday, speakers from the Milwaukee area added their voices to the calls for change.

"We should be able to put the controversy aside and do the right thing and bring about the common sense gun laws that will save lives," Penebaker said.

Nik Clark

"If you want to deal with violence, I think the focus should be on focusing on the violent people instead of focusing on guns -- instead of focusing on things like gun laws, which only affects the law-abiding people," Nik Clark, president of Wisconsin Carry said.

Clark says new gun laws won't make city streets safer.

"That's the big problem with a lot of these proposals, is they start, the starting point becomes gun and gun laws instead of focusing on violence and violent criminals," Clark said.

"When you hear stories of survivors, you don't hear something that is politically-based. The only agenda we have is to prevent other families from living our nightmare," Penebaker said.

The relatively new Office of Violence Prevention in the City of Milwaukee helped organize this event. They have a blueprint for how to make Milwaukee a safer place, that will be put into action this year.

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