Wear Orange: Cincinnati Moms Demand Action rallies against gun violence

"No more silence -- end gun violence." (WXIX)
"No more silence -- end gun violence." (WXIX)
"Cincinnati Moms Demand Action." (WXIX)
"Cincinnati Moms Demand Action." (WXIX)

OVER-THE-RHINE, OH (FOX19) - A sea of orange -- organized by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

This was all part of Wear Orange National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

They flooded Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine.

But gun advocates say guns are not the problem. The violence both groups want to see end, they say, is triggered by mental illness.

"We use our voices to uplift those who have been stolen," said a young woman reading from the center of the rally. Members of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America were sharing stories of loss.

"It's everybody's job, to have a voice against violence," said Pastor Jackie Jackson, who is also a survivor of gun violence.

"I was shot at ten years old, along with a friend in my community, a neighbor who had just been released from a mental institution, but no one knew," said Jackson, who has never forgotten his own brush with death.

"Every time I'd hear about someone getting shot, I'd go back to thinking about when I got shot, and then as I got older and really understood the blessing, that God didn't let me be in a position where it took my life. Then my oldest son got shot and he collapsed across the street from where I was initially shot, so that continued to bring back memories," he said.

Between 2014 and 2016, eight of the homicides in Cincinnati, he tells us, were his family members.

"It's important to be here today, because there are a lot of people who can't speak for themselves, who may be afraid to speak for themselves or don't how to," Jackson said. "So, I'm here for the survivors, myself and everyone who's been affected by gun violence."

"And a lot of those figures that we're seeing, in certain areas, have gone down," said Michele Mueller with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America. "More has to be done and we have a shared hope, that as a community, we can come together and we can find these common sense solutions and end gun violence."

She credits new technology, like Shot Spotter, with helping to reduce the problem in Cincinnati.

"Wear Orange is loud and bright, and we are asking the community to use their voice, and collectively, we know we can end gun violence," Mueller said.

"Unfortunately, I think the organizations heading-up these orange days and these marches, walkouts, are simply lying to their supporters, who are, unfortunately, uniformed about the topic," said Joe Eaton, who's with the Buckeye Firearms Association, a Second Amendment Advocacy Group.

"There are other issues out there contributing to the violence, but it is not the guns causing the violence," Eaton said.

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones also weighed-in, tweeting this out Saturday: "Metal detectors are the only way to stop guns from getting into schools."

"Having metal detectors if they can afford that is fine, but the other problem with those -- you now have a nice que of people waiting to get through the metal detectors, which is what these murderers are looking for -- a large group of defenseless people," Eaton said. "The threats are not always coming from within the school, that the schools have direct control over.

"The Ohio Attorney General did a report three or four years ago, and studied 40 years of violence and determined that less than 1 percent of Ohio's population was responsible for over 50 percent of the violent crime. So if we actually wanted to reduce violent crime, we know a very small segment of the population we need to look at, to reduce violent crime by at least a half. And it has nothing to do with 100 million lawful gun owners," Eaton added.

Copyright 2018 WXIX. All rights reserved.