Father of Abbie Kopf talks gun violence at council meeting

Posted at 11:49 PM, Apr 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-18 23:50:04-04

CONSTANTINE, Mich. -- Gene Kopf, father of Kalamazoo shooting victim Abbie Kopf, addressed the issue of gun violence at Monday night's council meeting in Constantine. The community is trying to decide whether to ban the use of assault rifles

It's not the first time Kopf has addressed this hot button issue: he asked a question about gun control at the Democratic debate in Flint earlier this year.

Kopf's daughter, Abbie, survived the mass shootings in Kalamazoo on February 20. Six other people lost their lives that night as the alleged suspect, Jason Dalton, shot them at random.

Fast forward nearly two months later and Monday's meeting: "I’m not here to persuade anyone in this village to make a decision, I just want them to think," said Gene Kopf.

"It’s been an ongoing epidemic and nothing has happened," he said. "We’ve heard people say, with all due regard, 'We pray this doesn’t happen,' but that’s not working."

"We have a problem," he said. "Our society has gone insane."

Kopf said he did not attend the meeting to press his opinion but to point that gun violence needs to end. He told FOX 17 Monday that Constantine's council president Patricia Weiss invited him to the meeting.

Monday's meeting was an effort to continue the conversation that first started in December.

"I felt like it was important to bring this to the attention to individuals," Weiss said. "If we don't talk about these things, it would have gone under the rug."

Weiss said her inspiration came from the New York Times editorial, "End the gun epidemic in America."

Weiss didn't get the support she was pushing for. All six board members voted against a gun ban of any kind.

"I’m enormously disappointed," Weiss said. "I had higher hopes for our council, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion," she said.

The ban may not have been granted, but the conversation is set to continue at a nearby restaurant Tuesday morning.

As for Abbie Kopf, she's expected to be released from a Grand Rapids hospital and head home later this week.