Protestors rally against gun violence in Dubuque

Protestors rally against gun violence in Dubuque
Published: Jun. 3, 2023 at 10:43 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Saturday, people in Dubuque gathered in Washington Park to call for action on gun violence in their community.

“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore,” said one of the speakers who took the gazebo Saturday afternoon.

“I have probably written both my Congressmen—Congressmen and Senators—numerous times,” said Jo Yeast, one of the protestors at the rally. “Yeah, I am discouraged.”

Yeast said, when her granddaughter survived a shooting at East High in Denver, it felt like the shoe she’d been waiting on finally dropped.

“I’ve always worried that it’s going to personally touch us, gun violence, and now it has,” she said.

Multiple speakers at the rally went up to the gazebo to share their stories, all too similar to Yeast’s.

“A school that I formerly taught at in the Dubuque area—there was a person with a gun on the school grounds,” said Elizabeth Enzler, one of those speakers. “It was traumatic. I think a lot of the kids are carrying that story with them still today.”

According to the Pew Research Center, more Americans died of gun-related injuries in 2021 than in any other year on record. That’s the most recent year for which the complete data is available. That record number of gun deaths also reflects a 23% increase since 2019.

TV9 asked Yeast if she thought rallies like the one Saturday could lead to change.

“My kids are...they’re all at soccer games and things like this,” said Yeast. “When I’m looking here, it’s mostly elderly people that are here. I wish younger people would be more involved.”

Yeast believes young people are the ones who will change how the country handles gun violence or witness what happens next.

“It’s a different world than the one that I was a child in,” said Enzler.

The annual rally was hosted by the Dubuque Coalition for Nonviolence.