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Another deadly weekend, another push to end gun violence

Posted at 12:21 AM, Jul 06, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS — A string of shootings over the Fourth of July holiday weekend left seven dead and 19 others shot, all of the people in various conditions.

Next week, the Indianapolis City-County Council is expected to vote on funding to address gun violence. Part of that funding will go toward programs some advocates say will make a difference.

Jennifer Haan with Moms Demand Action Indiana is encouraging leaders to address the root causes of violence.

"On a weekend we were supposed to be celebrating our freedom, here we are not being free if you can't celebrate the Fourth of July because of a fear of gun violence," Haan said.

Haan explained there are things that could be done to help Indianapolis combat and end gun violence. She's looking first at the Statehouse

"We need legislators at the Statehouse in 2022 to come together to pass some things that are gun sense such as background checks on every gun sale in Indiana, safe storage laws, a stronger red flag law," Haan said.

Haan knows many of the state politicians are adamantly opposed to those suggestions. Her response to that is to fund gun violence intervention programs.

"It has to come from people who are living within the community who can go in and intervene. There are all sort of groups doing this work already, but they needed to be funded."

Last month, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced a $3.3 million investment to address gun violence, focusing on programs that involve mental health, domestic violence reduction, young people, and law enforcement.

Monday night, the family of Ariana Holston held a balloon release in her memory. She and her unborn daughter were shot and killed Friday. As another family mourns the loss of a loved one, Haan said the pay off from these investments can't come soon enough because almost every day, someone is impacted by gun violence.

"To continue to see the headlines, it is a cycle of trauma we have to interrupt for all of us and all our mental health because it's not getting any better," she added.

Local organizations trying to help those impacted by gun violence can apply for funding from the federal government. It's available through the Victims of Crime Assistance, shortened VOCA. Information can be found by clicking here.