Local church leaders gather to halt gun violence - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Local church leaders gather to halt gun violence

By Dick Berry - email

Posted by Dave Dykema - email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Sunday night city church leaders gathered to call for a national summit to address gun violence and find ways to end it. They feel there's an epidemic of gun violence that's extending coast to coast.

In Toledo, there have been 19 murders so far this year, most involving guns.

The rally for peace was held at the United Missionary Baptist Church in the Old West End.

Among those raising their voice in song who have experienced gun violence first hand is Diamond Poellnitz. Her dad was recently shot in the leg trying to break up an argument.

Diamond believes all guns belong off the street. "Nothing is that serious that a gun should be used. Nothing that serious that a gun should be permitted to be used."

Linda Williams brought her 17-year-old son Ian here for what she terms preventative maintenance. "So he can see the violence involved in guns. Prevent him from playing with them, toying with them or wanting to hold them."

Ian is a junior at Start High School. He's seen the gun-toting hoods.

"Their lifestyle is very different from my lifestyle. But even though they live that lifestyle, I don't condone that lifestyle."

The group is asking President Barack Obama to take a stand along with them to save the great minds of our community. They want the President to hold leaders responsible for gun-related tragedies.

"We've got to find a way to end it. We need some sensible gun laws and we need to get our youth back," says Rev. Dr. Donald Perryman, United Missionary Baptist Church.

All told, they say this service is about futures, not funerals.

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