DeKalb County

Rally held in Atlanta to demand tougher gun laws after mass shootings

DECATUR, Ga. — Hundreds of people gathered in Decatur Square on Saturday afternoon to demand tougher gun laws in the wake of two devastating mass shootings.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Violence hosted the rallies in 10 cities across the country in response to the recent shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.

At the event in Decatur, chart-topping music group the Indigo Girls performed for a crowd of people wearing red and holding signs.

Channel 2's Alyssa Hyman talked to Georgia organizers, who said they are fighting for background checks on all gun sales and want their senators to pass a strong red flag law.


Red flag laws would allow people to alert authorities if someone is concerned a loved one may harm themselves or someone else.

"These are smart steps to just ending gun violence," one participant said. "We could respect the Second Amendment, but with great power comes great responsibility, and we really need to be responsible and take common-sense steps to end the epidemic of gun violence."

Another speaker, Jeff Binkley of Dunwoody, said enacting changes should not be a partisan issue. Binkley and his wife, Margaret, started a foundation to promote "positive social change." His 21-year-old daughter, Maura, was one of six women shot outside a Florida yoga studio last year by a gunman police said hated women. Maura died in the shooting.

"This should not be cast as a matter of left or right, blue or red. It is rather one of red, white and blue," he said.

The events also honored the 100 Americans shot and killed every day.

Several people at the rally were personally impacted by gun violence or lost a loved one.

Hyman talked to Sharmaine Brown, who lost her 23-year-old son Jared to a stray bullet in 2015. He was going to a friend's house for a barbecue in southwest Atlanta when he was killed.

"I'm here because I want to send a message loud and clear to our senators that something has to be done," Brown said.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.