GREAT FALLS — Saturday was a day of remembrance for gun violence victims throughout the country as it marks the seventh year since the Sandy Hook school shooting.
To pay tribute to the cause, the Great Falls chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America held a candlelight vigil to shine a light on both victims and the topic of gun violence.
Moms Demand Action chapter leader Helena Lovick said the vigil is intended to honor the lives lost by educating the public on how to prevent those deaths from happening in the first place. “We’re here today because we want to help honor those we’ve lost but also kinda join together and see what we can do to make change,” Lovick said.
Organizers say that anyone can enact change by encouraging open dialogue regarding firearms and suicide, especially since suicide is the leading form of gun violence. “In Montana, the suicide rate is number one in the nation...we lose almost 200 Montanans every year to suicide, so we need to do something if we want that to change,” Lovick said.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention recommends looking for warning signs, reaching out to those who exhibit them, and limiting access to any potential means of suicide.
Lovick added that taking the time as a community is key to learning how to reduce gun violence in our state and the world beyond. “It works better if we band together because we all want to live in a safer world,” Lovick said.
For additional information regarding educational and prevention resources related to suicide, click here.
You can also learn more about Moms Demand Action in Montana on their Facebook page.