Proclaiming Gun Violence Awareness Day on a Day of Gun Violence
Late Tuesday afternoon the Mayor and several Town Commissioners were in the board room preparing for the annual meeting with the soon-to-be graduates of Davidson’s Civics 101 Course. This year, the participants of the morning and evening sessions of Civics 101 were slated to meet with the Town Board at 5:00 p.m.
Shortly before that meeting began, Mayor Knox glanced at his phone and read a news alert. There was a school shooting reported in Texas, but few details were known. As the conversation began they talked about the fact that Uvalde, Texas is a town about the same size as Davidson.
In the few moments between the Civics 101 session and the regular Town Board meeting, news alerts confirmed the worst – more than a dozen children killed in their elementary school classroom. As the meeting began, Mayor Knox asked all gathered to spend a moment in silence.
Then, during the time for announcements there were lumps in throats as the Mayor read a pre-planned proclamation – Davidson’s Gun Violence Awareness Day. The full text of the proclamation is provided at the end of this post.
When the meeting ended that night, there was a solemn mood in the room. Hugs were shared as people parted ways.
Later that night Mayor Knox let the Commissioners know that he had reached out to his counterpart in Uvalde. He said the following: “Mayor McLaughlin, First let me offer my sincere prayers and support for you and your community. I am the Mayor of Davidson, NC. We are very similar in size (15,207). We started our Board meeting tonight with a moment of silence for those precious babies who were killed senselessly. This is the fifth time I’ve started a meeting this way and I’ve only been Mayor for 5 years. Know that our community stands behind you and is holding you all up in our prayers.”
Just after midnight, he received the following reply from Mayor McLaughlin: “Thank you. Our hearts are broken for these families and our community. I don’t even have words to speak.”
National Gun Violence Awareness Day
June 3, 2022
WHEREAS, Every day, more than 110 Americans are killed by gun violence and on average there are more than 13,000-gun homicides every year; and
WHEREAS, Americans are 25 times more likely to die by gun homicide than people in other high-income countries; and
WHEREAS, Every year, hundreds of children in the United States gain access to unsecured, loaded guns in closets and nightstand drawers, in backpacks and purses, or just left out; and
WHEREAS, In 2020, the most recent year for which complete data is available, 45,222 people died from gun-related injuries in the U.S.; and
WHEREAS, Cities and towns across the nation, including in Davidson, are working to end the senseless violence with evidence-based solutions; and
WHEREAS, Support for the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns away from people with dangerous histories; and
WHEREAS, In January 2013, Hadiya Pendleton, a teenager who marched in the presidential inaugural parade and was tragically shot and killed just weeks later, should be now celebrating her 24th birthday; and
WHEREAS, To help honor Hadiya – and the more than 100 Americans whose lives are cut short every day and the countless survivors who are injured by shootings every day – a national coalition of organizations has designated June 3, 2022, the first Friday in June, as the 8th National Gun Violence Awareness Day; and
WHEREAS, Anyone can join this campaign by pledging to Wear Orange on June 3, 2022, to help raise awareness about gun violence, and honor the lives of gun violence victims and survivors; and
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, I, Rusty Knox, Mayor of the Town of Davidson, North Carolina, do hereby proclaim Friday, June 3, 2022 as: “National Gun Violence Awareness Day” and encourage all citizens to support their local communities’ efforts to prevent the tragic effects of gun violence and to honor and value human lives.
Proclaimed this 24 day of May, 2022.
Rusty Knox, Mayor