4.21 Gun Reform Forum

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JEFFERSON CITY - Friday was the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, and on Saturday, members of the Jefferson City community gathered to discuss gun reform. Cole County Democrats organized the event, but said it was meant to be a bipartisan event.

Groups like MOMS Demand Action and Sandy Hook Promise were on hand to answer questions from the community and address what their group is doing to push for gun reform.

Susan Cook-Williams, an event organizer, said gun reform is an important issue in today's political climate.

"We want to make sure we are protecting Second Amendment rights while balancing the safety of our community," Cook-Williams said. "It's such an important topic right now. I feel like it's been an important topic for many years, but it's getting a lot of interest right now and so I wanted to keep the conversation going and people engaged so we can hopefully continue to work on a solution."

Candidates from both political parties were invited to the forum, but only Kevin Nelson, the Democratic candidate running for Missouri House District 60, was in attendance. He said he wanted to attend as both a candidate and as a community member.

"I think this is too important an issue not to show up," Nelson said. "I heard a lot of good questions that really made me think. The thing I learned is that there are a lot of people interested. This is something that is at the forefront of our country and our state. People are interested and are wanting change."

Organizers said they hope Saturday's forum will open up and continue what Cook-Williams called a "difficult topic."

"It's hard to have these conversations, but I think it's important that we open up and hear everyone's opinion in an open, honest conversation," Cook-Williams said. "I hope people leave here today but continue this conversation. I hope they hear the passion that was expressed today and know it's a conversation worth having."