Vigils held for Florida victims as gun debates continue

Posted: Updated:
Vigils held for Florida victims as gun debates continue Vigils held for Florida victims as gun debates continue
NEWARK -

A prayer vigil was held Thursday at a school in Newark to honor and remember the 17 victims of the Florida school shooting as the debate about guns and gun control wages on.

Organizers of the vigil at Hernandez Elementary School say that the gathering was a chance to speak for the victims, as well as a chance to speak out against gun violence.

Principal Patricia Gois started the conversation inside the school assembly hall, while a student stood for each victim.

The 17 students and staff members of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida were killed during a Valentine’s Day mass shooting. The suspect was a former student who allegedly used an AR-15 rifle to commit the slayings.

As vigils are held across the country for the victims, President Donald Trump suggested Thursday that arming teachers was one possible way to stop school shootings.

RELATED: New Jersey's biggest teacher's union opposes arming teachers
RELATED: President Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons
RELATED: 4 US governors, including Murphy, join forces on gun safety

“These people are cowards. They’re not going to walk into a school if 20 percent of the teachers have guns,” the president said.

It was a similar sentiment to what NRA leader Wayne LaPierre had been saying at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

"To stop a bad guy with a gun it takes a good guy with a gun,” LaPierre said.

But that idea has brought mixed reactions to the public. The New Jersey Education Association released a statement against arming teachers.

"It is time to put the safety of our children and staff ahead of the profits of gun manufacturers. Quite simply, we must get guns out of our schools and keep them out,” the head of the NJEA said in a statement.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced Thursday that New Jersey would join a coalition of states to end the flow of guns from southern states to the northeast.

"A significant majority of crime guns in New Jersey, in fact I believe it's widely viewed to be 80 percent, come from out of state,” Murphy said.

“States for Gun Safety” includes New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The states will be sharing information to make sure that if a person is barred from getting a gun in one state, they will be stopped in another.

President Trump did also say that he supports backgrounds checks, raising the age to buy a gun to 21 and banning the sale of bump stocks.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Just Married in New Jersey

    Just Married in New Jersey

    News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding.News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding.

    News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding. If you were married in the past 90 days, please submit your photos via Twitter or Instagram using #JustMarriedNJ.  

    News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding. If you were married in the past 90 days, please submit your photos via Twitter or Instagram using #JustMarriedNJ.  

  • Your 2018 New Jersey Fall Fun Photos

    Your 2018 New Jersey Fall Fun Photos

    Wednesday, September 5 2018 2:18 PM EDT2018-09-05 18:18:06 GMT
    Send us your Fall Fun Pics!Send us your Fall Fun Pics!

    Is fall your favorite season? Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 New Jersey want to see your Fall Fun pics! Send them via Twitter or Instagram with the #NJFallFun and they might end up on air or on News12.com.

    Is fall your favorite season? Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 New Jersey want to see your Fall Fun pics! Send them via Twitter or Instagram with the #NJFallFun and they might end up on air or on News12.com.

  • Workers wanted: Companies hiring for the holidays

    Workers wanted: Companies hiring for the holidays

    Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season.Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season.
    Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season.Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season.

    Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season. 

    Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season. 

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."