Danville councilman calls on African-American community to come together over gun violence

Danielle Staub/WDBJ7
Danielle Staub/WDBJ7(WDBJ)
Published: Aug. 19, 2016 at 8:42 PM EDT
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A Danville City Councilman is calling for change. Reverend Larry Campbell says there are too many guns in his city, and too many people using them to solve problems -- especially among African-Americans.

This is something that has been on Campbell's heart for some time now. Yesterday evening, he spoke during a "celebration of life" for the 3-year-old who died in an accidental shooting Saturday. Campbell says he is not casting any blame, he is just using this platform to reach people.

"It is disturbing to me that, all of the lives lost this year, that are gun related are black on black," Campbell said. "There are two many guns in our community. And we are turning to the gun too quickly."

Campbell wants the community to know that guns are not the solution.

"We must communicate. Talk out the problem. And show love. And deal with the issues that we have in a humane way," Campbell said.

There have been eight murders in Danville this year. Police say seven of those victims were black. Of the 10 suspects arrested in those cases, eight are black.

"I think everyone should be responsible when it comes to automatic weapons or any type of weapons," Virginia Organizing Community Leader Ebony Guy said. "People need to be responsible with their second amendment rights."

In Danville, Virginia Organizing works to create dignity and respect between all races and religions. As a community leader, Guy is working to reduce violence as a whole.

"A lot of people don't see any other outlet to express themselves but through violence," Guy said.

So the group is working to create conversations between neighbors, the police and community leaders.

"There is always room for progress. There is always room for progress when it comes to major issues like this," Guy said.

Both feel that improving the economy and education system will reduce violence..

"We have too much grief now, we have too many people who are hurting now," Campbell said.