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Groups gather around city to promote a day of peace

Groups gather around city to promote a day of peace
Published: May. 21, 2016 at 8:11 PM EDT|Updated: May. 22, 2016 at 5:02 AM EDT
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Moms Demand Action was held at Spalding University on Saturday. (Source: Sharon Yoo/WAVE 3 News)
Moms Demand Action was held at Spalding University on Saturday. (Source: Sharon Yoo/WAVE 3 News)
Hands Across Louisville was held Saturday at 31st and Broadway. (Source: Sharon Yoo/WAVE 3 News)
Hands Across Louisville was held Saturday at 31st and Broadway. (Source: Sharon Yoo/WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Many people gathered around the city Saturday at different events promoting unity and safety.

One of those events was advocating common sense gun ownership while another was promoting education against violence.

Like many moms at the Moms Demand Action prayer vigil at Spalding University, Haley Rinehart was wearing a white T-shirt. What set her apart was a red pin she wore that read, "Survivor."

"In 2002, my then 4-year-old son found an unsecured loaded handgun that was laying on a stack of children's books at his grandmother's house and when he grabbed it to move it, his finger slipped and he shot himself in the eye," she said.

Through miraculous chances, Rinehart says, her son survived and is graduating from high school this year. This experience however, never left her. She says for days after the accident, she thought she would never see the day her son would graduate.

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That's what made her join Moms Demand Action. She says she hopes that no other mother would have to go through what she had to.

"Kids walk outside, kids get shot in their homes, we're not as safe as people think we are," Rinehart said. "Yet they keep saying that we're the safest country, but these numbers, they keep adding up and I just want to scream."

The group isn't asking for a ban on guns. It is simply looking for better regulations.

"Too many people slip through the loopholes that we're trying to get closed," Rinehart said. "The goal is to do it responsibly (with) responsible gun owners, we love responsible gun owners because those are the ones who make a difference."

A couple blocks down the street from where Moms Demand Action was held, a different group occupied an entire city block for Hands Across Louisville at 31st and Broadway.

There, Priscilla Ewing held hands with a stranger to make a human chain that stood for a safer city.

"If we do not raise awareness of violence, it doesn't have to be gun violence, there are so many types of violence," she said. "We love our children. We want them to live and prosper and grow. So whatever we can do, even if it's a small event, it will grow."

Whether it's a change in policy, or a need to spark new dialogue, the two groups were united in their fight against violence.

Copyright 2016 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.