NewsLocal NewsKzoo/BCKalamazoo


Kalamazoo coalition urges lawmakers to act on gun laws

Posted at 6:18 PM, Jan 18, 2023

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — On Wednesday, a newly-formed coalition held a series of events in Kalamazoo, calling for action on gun violence bills.

The End Gun Violence Michigan Coalition hosted prayer vigils and press events across the state on Wednesday, and at Kalamazoo, the consensus was clear: a bullet doesn’t just impact the person it hits, it can leave a mark on so many other people.

As a doctor at Bronson, Robert Beck knows this firsthand.

“Everyone of our healthcare team whether it be resp therapist, nurse, or physician are impacted many times detrimentally with each of these cases,” said Beck, a pediatric intensivist with Bronson Children’s Hospital.

He says it never gets easier.

According to Beck, gun violence in Kalamazoo has increased in the last three years, causing many healthcare workers to leave the bedside.

Even more sobering is the number of children dying from gunshot wounds, which is higher than the number of adolescents and young adults dying in car accidents.

“The data shows that children 1-19 years of age are at higher risk of death from gun violence than anything else,” Beck said.

Lori Kline-Closson, who has also been impacted by gun violence, attended the event to honor the life of her friend, Barb, who was shot and killed seven years ago by an Uber driver.

"Barb was one of the most kind, loving people to ever walk the face of the earth, and she was taken unnecessarily from her family, from her friends and community," said Kline-Closson.

She also said Barb was sheltering another young woman, who was attending a show with her and riding in the same car when the shooting happened.

“She saved her life,” Kline-Closson remembers.

Kline-Closson believes that a good start to ending gun violence is commonsense gun laws.

"Just because we can't solve all of the problem at once doesn't mean there is an excuse for doing nothing," she said.

The End Gun Violence Michigan coalition is urging lawmakers to implement things like universal background checks, extreme risk protection orders, and safe storage.


Group in Kalamazoo calls for action on gun violence bills

RELATED: More businesses purchase gun violence liability policies

Follow FOX 17: Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - YouTube