CHARLESTON, SC (WMBF) - On Sunday, many will be gathering at The Mother Emanuel AME Church for a service, panel discussion and a tribute to the lives lost and their families.
The gathering is aimed at bringing senseless acts of violence to an end.
"What better place than Mother Emanuel to say, 'We've had enough,'" said Gwen Reed.
Reed knows suffering all too well. She'll be sharing her personal story in the panel discussion.
"Gun violence has shaped my life since I was 11. My father was shot and killed by someone he sat with hours earlier," Reed said.
For Reed, who is the outreach community leader for Mothers Demand Action, that wasn't the end of violence in her life. Her sister was later shot and killed in Conway.
These tragic events pushed Reed to speak up.
"I can no longer sit quietly and allow my family, or allow my sister, or my father's deaths be in vein," Reed said.
While Reed still believes in the Second Amendment right to carry a firearm, she also believes all of these deaths, which forever change a family, can be prevented with common sense gun laws.
"I want you to be able to be responsible with that gun. If you have a mental issue, you don't need a gun. If 72 hours isn't enough time and the background check isn't cleared, then they shouldn't have a gun," Reed said.
This effort is aimed at getting the community behind the anti-gun violence movement, pushing for harsher guidelines for purchase and closing loopholes.
"We can't do anything for the Emanuel nine whose lives were lost," Reed said. "We can't do anything for my sister. But if we can save one life, then the law will be effective."
Reed is expecting the church, which holds more than 1,500 people, to be at capacity.
Transportation to the 3 p.m., event is available across the state. See below for a schedule:
- Buses will be at Coastal Grand Mall in Myrtle Beach from 10:30 to 11:10 a.m., and depart at 11:15 a.m.
- Buses will be in Georgetown at Hair Q at 1245 Highmarket St., from 12 to 12:30 p.m., with departure at 12:30 p.m.
- Buses will be in Greenville at McCallister Square on Pleasantburg Drive.
- Buses will be in Columbia at Columbia Square Mall at 11:45 a.m.