MEDIA — Less than 24 hours after 12 people were shot and killed in a Virginia Beach mass shooting, hundreds took to the streets in Media to remember all those whose lives were lost to gun violence while advocating for more legislative reform.

"The shooter had a 45-caliber handgun, several high capacity magazines and a suppressor," said Jessica Frankl, co-chair of Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy, of the Virginia Beach gunman. "And according to initial investigations, he is thought to have obtained this weapon legally. We have been here one too many times, folks. Today, there are 12 more angels in Heaven whose lives were taken too soon."

Saturday's Wear Orange Rally and Walk to End Gun Violence, sponsored by Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy, actually was scheduled long before Friday's latest mass shooting. Spurred by the latest carnage, hundreds gathered at the Second Baptist Church of Media to start the rally, with participants decked out in orange shirts. After a service at the church the group proceeded to walk down State Street to the Delaware County Courthouse to close their event.

They wore orange as an effort started by the friends of 13-year-old honor student Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed six years ago in a case of mistaken identity. A week earlier, she had performed at one of the events surrounding former President Barack Obama's second inauguration.

Event organizers noted that the color orange is worn by hunters in the woods so that they can be seen and to protect themselves from harm, something those in attendance said they want for themselves - to be seen and to be protected from the threat of gun violence.

In front of Second Baptist Church of Media was a display of T-shirts, each one representing a life lost in Delaware County over the past five years due to gun violence. According to Media Mayor Bob McMahon, every day 100 Americans are killed by gun violence

"We are here for them - for those who have gone from us and those that remain here picking up the pieces," Frankl said. "This day is for you."

After recognizing the Virginia Beach incident, U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-5 of Swarthmore, said there have been 141 incidents this year where two or more people have been shot.

"So many lives lost to senseless gun violence - in schools or movie theaters or Wawas or places of worship," she said, adding that 11 people in Delaware County alone have lost their lives this year due to a firearm. 

To the packed church, Scanlon said, "I join you in frustration and sadness but also hope because we are here and enough is enough."

Beverly Wright, is the mother of Emein Smith, who was shot and killed in Chester on Nov. 13, 2005. Smith was 23 years old when he died.

"Every time I tell my story, it remains the same," she said. "The pain remains the same. Though the years pass, the pain still remains the same ... It was very hard for me to wake up and come here today after I heard the news on the mass shootings ... My thoughts went immediately to the mothers of those victims who no longer have a son or a daughter.

"We are sick and tired of being sick and tired," Wright said. "We are sick and tired of burying our babies. We are sick and tired of mothers crying because they're not going to have that opportunity to say, 'I love you' again. We can't take this situation lightly. If we have legislators or politicians who are not backing the sensible gun laws, the sensible gun policies, we have to get them out of there."

Jeff Dempsey of the group CeaseFire PA spoke of how gun violence appears in different forms: homicide, suicide, domestic violence, intimate partner violence and accidental discharge.

"Gun violence doesn't stop," he said. "It affects all of us no matter what our constituencies or districts look like. It may affect us differently but it still affects us and we have to act. We have to have legislative change."

In Pennsylvania, Dempsey said, gun violence is linked to more deaths than those caused by vehicle accidents.

Not all agree that these measures will work.

Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow was killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, last year, is cited by the National Rifle Association. Recently, the NRA retweeted Pollack's tweet saying, "My life changed forever the day I lost my daughter Meadow. I am now spending the rest of my life educating parents on where they send their children to school. K9’s will help keep their kids safe. Gun control will not."

At Saturday's rally, state Rep. Jennifer O'Mara, D-165 of Springfield talked about her father's suicide 16 years ago.

"On Feb. 2, 2003, on a Sunday morning while we were supposed to be at church, my mom and I found my father dead from a self-inflicted gunshot," she said. "It changed our life."

Then, when she was in college, she said she broke up with a man who owned a gun and began stalking her.

"There was a time in my life where I literally walked around in fear - will this be the day he showed up with a gun," O'Mara said. 

The representative spoke of legislation to enact Extreme Risk Protection Orders that is being considered in Harrisburg. It would allow family members and law enforcement officers to petition a judge to temporarily restrict a person's access to firearms if they are deemed a threat to themselves or another person.

"ERPO is something that we can use as a tool to protect people that need it," she said.

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