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Oklahoma organizations push for gun reform after mass shootings

Oklahoma PTA logo, NAACP logo
Posted at 3:57 PM, Jun 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-08 18:25:33-04

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Along with the national push to end gun violence, local organizations are saying enough is enough.

Green Country saw two mass shootings, defined as four or more people injured or killed, just four days apart atthe Natalie Building at Saint Francis Health System and in Taft, Oklahoma.

“Unfortunately this has become a norm in our nation and this should not be,” said Rodger Cutler, President of the NAACP Muskogee Branch.

This week, the organization called for an immediate “cease fire” on gun violence. They’ve asked community partners to help them raise money to buy back guns from people in the community.

“Perhaps if we can get just that one gun, that could be the one that causes the next mass shooting, off the street then we’ve done something,” said Cutler.

They’ll turn over the guns to local law enforcement, and plan to partner with Muskogee Police and the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office to put together workshops on how to respond to active shooters and training on gun safety.

The Muskogee NAACP isn’t the only organization pushing for change.

“As parents and teachers we want our kids to feel safe in school, in a safe and welcoming environment. So we just felt like enough is enough,” said Lori Wathen, President of the Oklahoma PTA, who is leading the group advocating for gun reform.

They passed an emergency resolution on gun safety and violence prevention at their conference this weekend.

“I feel like this is kind of the bare minimum. It’s sensible gun reform and gun legislation,” said Wathen.

The Oklahoma PTA wants legislation that institutes universal background checks, raises the minimum age to 21 to purchase a gun, pays for comprehensive research on the causes and effects of gun violence, and adopts “red flag” laws.

“We just have to start somewhere and as an association we felt like this was a good set of starting points,” said Wathen. “Hopefully with all the conversations going on across the US, our legislators are more open to listen to us.”

The Oklahoma PTA says they want children to be safe in schools and their families to be safe in their communities.

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