MILWAUKEE -- An unfortunate but timely coincidence. Just days after a school massacre in Florida, a local coalition held an already planned public meeting for input as it puts together a valuable resource centered around gun violence.
Saturday, February 17th began with a moment of silence. After paying respects to the victims of Florida's mass shooting, the voices inside of Milwaukee's Public Library Mitchell Street branch were anything but quiet.
"We want to get the word out that we are not going to take it anymore," said President of League of Women Votes of Milwaukee County Anne Golden.
The League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County along with the coalition that is developing "Guns, Grief, and Grace: Everyone's Toolkit" held its first public session.
"The focus today is how do we talk about gun violence the way it plays out in greater Milwaukee," documentary film maker Janet Fitch said.
Fitch helped facilitate the engagement in an effort to change the way we think, talk and act about gun violence.
"The goal is to have a sustained conversation so that we are ready at the opportunity to really galvanize change," Fitch said.
Clips and commentary about domestic violence, suicides and mass shootings along with literary references and vetted stats reinforced that gun violence is a critical issue affecting us all.
"The pain of losing loved children and loved ones to something that is so preventable," Golden said.
Saturday participants provided input, shared stories and opinions to help foster non-polarized conversations.
"Part of the goal is to reframe direction and to look at gun rights versus gun control to an umbrella of public health and prevention," Fitch said.
The information gathered is just part of a compilation of a free online resource being developed so community members, educators and even politicians can take the next step in taking action in their own way.
"Find the commonality and move forward with common sense solution," Fitch said.
If you'd like to learn more about the toolkit, CLICK HERE.