Gun control advocates take issue with NRA statements

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NEWARK -

Advocates against gun violence in New Jersey’s largest city say that they take issue with the National Rifle Association’s racial statements following the mass shooting in Florida.

NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch told a crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference that she thinks it's because of race that mass shootings garner more outrage and attention than more common urban gun crimes.

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“Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it....crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media,” Loesch said.

In Newark, the People’s Organization for Progress has been working with police to reduce gun violence and gun deaths in the city. Leader Larry Hamm says that he hopes to see Newark’s schools become safer.

“Now it’s under local control so I think people will be even more energetic about trying to stop the violence,” Hamm says.

Hamm says the he believes that local media have amply covered gun violence in Newark. He says that what he wants to see more of is discussion about gun violence prevention.

“I think what has to happen though, is more attention should to be given to the people who are trying to stop the violence,” says Hamm.

Newark had 72 homicides in 2017, according to data from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office – a historic low.

Community activists say that they have focused on reducing gun violence for years, not just after a mass shooting.

Newark activist Earl Best, also known as “The Street Doctor,” says that he is glad to see the survivors of the Parkland, Florida, shooting calling for solutions to gun violence.

“You can’t just do this for a month and then let it go,” he says. “You’ve got to stay on it…Where does the buck stop?” Best asks.

Survivors of the Parkland shooting will be visiting Livingston for a rally with Sen. Bob Menendez on gun legislation this Sunday.

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