Cecilia DowdFeb 17, 2018, 12:49 am

Vigil in Rockville Centre honors lives lost in Parkland, calls for change in gun laws

Parents, children and organizers call on legislators to take action

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ROCKVILLE CENTRE — A vigil for change was held at Central Synagogue Beth Emeth Friday following Wednesday’s shooting at a Florida high school. Students read the names of those who died.

“We're here to acknowledge and honor the beautiful lives cut so violently and senselessly short on Wednesday afternoon, and to discover how together we can find and forge a path forward,” said Cindy Vaupel of Raising Voices USA.

“Today we wanted to come together as a community to condemn the violence that is happening in our schools over and over again and the cycle of violence followed by inaction,” said Emma Travers, also from Raising Voices USA.

“It’s so unfortunate. It never should have happened. We need to change the gun laws,” said Rockville Centre Mayor Francis X. Murray. “We come together today to speak to each other to hug each other to pray together and hopefully this never happens again. We need to put a stop to it.”

Children and parents were also in attendance along with the event organizers, Raising Voices USA and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Peter Sharoff of Rockville Centre, whose wife is with Moms Demand Action, attended the vigil with his children. For him, he says it's about getting community movement to put pressure on politicians to support common sense gun laws.

“There are people who should not have guns,” Sharoff said. ”These are people who are mentally ill. These are people who have a history of violence and there should be laws to at least temporarily take that out of people’s hands and we have some of those coming up.”

And there's the issue of the gun itself.

“I have better security on my smartphone than a gun has. You can put biometric locks on these things so someone doesn't take a parent's gun, someone doesn’t take a gun illegally,” Sharoff said.

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