On a cold Friday evening hundreds of concerned citizens gathered outside the Lakeville Center for the Arts for a candlelight vigil to honor victims of gun violence, including those in the latest school shooting in Parkland. It was held at this site, at this time, in sharp contrast to the “Celebration of the 2nd Amendment” that was being held inside the center as a fundraiser by the Republican Senate District 56. Our representative in Congress, Jason Lewis was supposed to be in attendance at this fundraiser, but did not show — as he has not shown up at many public events where people who may disagree with him are likely to be nearby. He has voted along with the NRA, who has supported him financially, when he voted yes on a reciprocity bill that would allow gun owners, coming from other states with even looser gun restrictions, to have free reign here.
We stood together, with the organizers of this event- Stand Up Dakota County, Moms Demand Action, Indivisible Resistance Eagan Burnsville and Indivisible Cannon Valley- to listen to speakers raise their voices about the America we want to see. One where children feel safe in school, where we recognize the sanctity of human life and we come together rather than letting fear tear us apart.
Thanks to all who braved the elements and are committed to do the work to get our gun laws changed and to elect those that will stand with us and against the NRA and gun lobbies.
Want to get involved?
Text READY to 64433 or if you’re a student text STUDENT to 64433.
This will connect you with Mom’s Demand Action
The embedded video below is a playlist of eight speeches and music from a vigil held outside the Lakeville (Minnesota) Area Arts Center on February 23, 2018, honoring the victims of the Valentine’s Day shooting of 17 students and faculty in Parkland, Florida.
If you want to select which videos to watch individually, you can use the links below:
Note: Thanks to Heather Tidd for videos 9-12, which we took from her Facebook live feed.
- Pastor Andrea Roske-Metcalfe offers a prayer and speaks the names of the victims.
- Stephen Venable, who’s brother and father were killed by an armed intruder.
- High school teacher Jarren Peterson tells of the shooting death of her boyfriend in North Minneapolis.
- High school student Jason Scheller speaks about what its like to be a student in a times when gun violence at schools seems as if it is an everyday occurrence.
- Mark Frascone leads the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Imam Asad Zaman, Executive Director, Muslim American Society of Minnesota, speaks to the assembled activists.
- DFL candidate for Governor, Erin Murphy, speaks of her perspective on gun safety as a mother, nurse and elected official.
- Pastor Rob Smith of Spirit of Life Presbyterian Church in Apple Valley, speaks and sings for the activists.
- Vicky Johnson, Stand Up – Dakota County and someone who’s life has been touched by gun violence, speaks at the vigil.
- Erin Preese, a teacher, mother of two, and a volunteer with Moms Demand Action.
- Richard Painter, the constitutional law scholar and former ethic lawyer for the George W Bush administration, reveals how gun safety is a bipartisan issue.
- Angie Craig, mother of four sons and a candidate for Congress, introduces Emma Anderson, a high school student at Eagan High School who gives a compelling talk on gun safety.
- The St. Olaf College Justice Choir sings at the vigil under the direction of Louis Kaiser Epstein.
Thanks to Stand Up Dakota County, Moms Demand Action, Indivisible Resistance Eagan Burnsville and Cannon Valley Indivisible for co-hosting and organizing this event.
Want more on gun safety?
- See this related story about a rally at the Minnesota State Capitol.
- Recommended story: (includes information on Lewis) : Mourning [insert next mass shooting] in the NRA’s America (CityPages, 02-21-2018)