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Friday Morning Vigil Remembers Victims, Calls for Gun Law Changes

"We want to dedicate ourselves to doing something different as we join the whole nation in pausing and remembering those who died last week in Newtown," said the Rev. Alison Cornish.

Close to 40 individuals gathered in Sag Harbor's American Legion Post 388 Friday morning – exactly one week after 20 children and five adults were killed in a Connecticut elementary school and another woman killed in her home – in a vigil meant to reflect upon the 26 people killed last Friday, and bring attention to a ban on assault rifles.

Over the past week, debate over gun control and the country's mental health system have come to the fore as many wonder how or why the events in Newtown, Conn. were able to occur.

Copies of a petition calling for President Barack Obama to sign an executive order banning assault weapons was available for individuals. 

"We want to dedicate ourselves to doing something different as we join the whole nation in pausing and remembering those who died last week in Newtown," said the Rev. Alison Cornish, of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Fork, who organized Friday morning's vigil.

While the issue of "politicizing" the deaths that occurred in Newtown has concerned some, Cornish said that considering the role government plays in regulating guns, there is no denying that.

"We have a system of government that affects many parts of our lives, from who can carry a gun to who can receive mental health. If you say that's politicizing, that's a political issue."

The petition, in part, states: "We urge President Obama to sign an Executive Order banning the sale of assault weapons and importantly the ammunition that these weapons use, effective immediately and until Congress acts to ban the sale and ownership of wuch weapons and ammunition."

During the ceremony itself, Cornish rang a Tibetan singing bowl, a kind of bell, 26 times as the group who came stood in a circle in remembrance in each one of the shooting victims.

Friday morning's vigil lasted about a half hour, with clergy members from the United Methodist Church of Sag Harbor, Temple Adas Israel of Sag Harbor and Christ Episcopal of Sag Harbor attending as well. Rabbi Leon Morris, of the Temple, blew a Shofer in celebration of what he and many others hope will be a new view toward guns – namely, assault rifles – in the future.

Margaret Logan, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church who attended, noted that she attended "not because it's the only thing we can do. But this is the most cogent way for us to address this tragedy."

Held at the American Legion post, several veterans were in attendance beyond members of the local congregations and others.

"This is something that has to be acted on," said John Pino, a Navy veteran. "Sometimes we end up being a prisoner to our own freedoms. We have people who give their lives for this country, which gives us so many things. But those people did not have to give their lives last week."

Bob Schepps December 21, 2012 at 07:02 PM
http://www.childmind.org/en/press/brainstorm/ Here's a link from a different persective.
Preliator December 21, 2012 at 08:09 PM
This is all very nice but a petition calling on President Obama to ban certain guns by Presidential fiat, going around our legislative branch and violating personal property rights and second amendment rights is insane and leads us someplace none of us want to go.
David D'Agostino December 21, 2012 at 08:19 PM
http://www.demandaplan.org/
Preliator December 21, 2012 at 08:46 PM
A joke, a big joke...look up some of the movies the people in this video have been in, ultra violent, hyped up murder, gun fetish garbage they pump out for us to see and now, now that they have made their blood money, their millions, they think some thing needs to be done. Will any of these scumbags swear off violent movies, the horrible language...not as long as the check clears. What a joke, what a sad pathetic joke this country has become.
MARTIN DREW December 22, 2012 at 12:01 AM
I have to agree with Preliator on the demand a plan thing above ; HYPOCRITS ; perpetuating violence etc in thier films .. What about the kids of foreign lands ?? Killed by our military ; what plan do these people have for them? White kids die its a national tragedy ; brown skinned kids die in a foriegn land and its collateral damage ? Something is wrong in all of this . Our country is blind and deaf to these acts on others by our government . These actors should be ashamed to create the violence in movies ; filling thier bank accounts ; then have the audacity to speak out like they aren't part of the problem .. It blows my mind .. I'll post a link next .. Then let's see who got a plan ... a plan to ending murder of children in other nations by our government .. Excuse me while I go puke ! Martin Drew
MARTIN DREW December 22, 2012 at 12:09 AM
http://www.infowars.com/obama-orders-children-murdered/ View this and then let's here from these actors and supporters again .. Take your heads out of your asses. This is what USA military is doing to other families children. Of course they aren't white little kids ; sheltered from violence ... Kids non the less .. In the name of GOD Wake up ! Martin Drew
Darren Gengarelly Sr. December 22, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Well said Marty. I dont remember the call to ban alchohol when that drunk mom MURDERED a whole car load of kids. Typical.
Mo Neill December 22, 2012 at 05:34 PM
One expects this specious reasoning from the NRA, We've heard it al before. As the NRA & GOA has champions more guns in America, they get more monies from gun industry profits (at record numbers) as front people for the gun corporations The NRA is a front org for the gun industry to boost their sales. The NRA has received marching orders to blame this latest horrific massacre on anything but guns. All the nations of the world receive American pop music, TV & films, but there is little death from guns in these countries. Why? Japanese children play much more violent video games than in the U.S. Why doesn't your theory of watching violent entertainment occur in Japan? France? Germany? Holland? Even Dunblane, Scotland? England has a slightly higher crime rate than the U.S. in all catagories but murder. The answer is quite clear: the ease of inflicting grave harm by use of guns makes the U.S a very scary place with their widespread, uncontrolled availability. 58 Murders last year by firearms in Britain, 8,974 in U.S.; in Japan even less than in England This is not rocket science. The answer is indisputably obvious: guns. Freedom means, at the very least, the right to life, let alone liberty & pursuits of happiness. The widespread availability of guns make freedom a contingent, fleeting & negligible reality. Safety of our citizens is fundamental to the health of Americans. It is insanity to put forward the idea that guns take precedence over our right to live. We must have control
Mo Neill December 22, 2012 at 06:12 PM
drunk moms don't MURDER 8,000 people a year.
Bonac Refugee December 22, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Actually Mo in 2009(the last year figures have been releasded for) there were 10,000 + alcohol related deaths on our roads.
Darren Gengarelly Sr. December 22, 2012 at 08:27 PM
2010 there were 10,288. Mo is so typical.
Darren Gengarelly Sr. December 22, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Drunk driving kills far more innocent people in AMERICA than assault rifles. Not even close. Please continue to argue the point. It highlights your ignorance Mo.
Darren Gengarelly Sr. December 22, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Over 11,000 this year. 38%of vehicle accidents are alchohol related. 1 drunk driving accident every 31 minutes. Mo you were saying?
George Lynch December 22, 2012 at 10:24 PM
I must be missing something here. So we have a problem with drunk driving and a problem with firearm use. Both cause a lot of deaths. Regardless of which one causes more deaths, we have to address both, right? Does the presence of the drunk driving problem mean we shouldn't also address the gun problem? How can that be? And please, don't tell us there isn't a gun problem, that's not just ignoring the elephant in the room, that's letting him sit on you.
Darren Gengarelly Sr. December 22, 2012 at 10:33 PM
I agree completely George. Let's all address them as the equal evil they are. Good luck with that. Double standards run rampant.

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