Leaders in Steelton demand action against illegal guns

William Jones has a reason to be afraid of guns.

“'I'm riding around the city with people with guns on them and there's nothing I can do but pray,” he said.

Jones drives a cab, just like Atlas Simpson; a man who was shot and killed last March while on the job.

“They did not have to kill him but they had access to weapons,” said Simpson's sister during a rally Thursday in Steelton.

The event was one of over 150 nationwide, where local government and religious officials gathered as a part of the Mayors Against Gun Violence National Day to Demand Action.

“When you can mow down 20 school children like you are at an arcade winning a prize, I've had enough,” said event organizer, Terry Slade. “Somebody's got to do something, so right now I'm going to be that someone.”

“We are trying to make sure they use them responsibly and get criminal background checks,” said another community member.

Many at the event had suffered injuries caused by an illegal gun, including emotional wounds.

Rev. Beverly Taylor of Steelton said her grandson was only 15 when he was murdered.

“It was an illegal gun, so as far as I'm concerned it was two lives lost,” she said.

The young man who pulled the trigger was also a minor.

“In the last five years I've seen more people die than in my entire life,” said Jones.

Jones hasn't always driven a cab. He said he now demands action against illegal gun violence because he used to be part of it.

“I was tired of seeing people close to me die,” said the former gang member. “I said enough is enough. It's time we grow up and do the right thing.”

Jones said it's now up to lawmakers to do the same.

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