First Dayton Peace Festival wraps up

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Following the Oregon District tragedy, Chris Borland said he and others in the community wanted to celebrate the best of Dayton. A three day Dayton Peace Festival they put together came to end on Monday.

“We’ve done everything from food, games and music to some serious conversations about gun violence and mental health,” Borland said.

A number of organizations joined him during the last few days, including Moms Demand Action. 

“Shootings happen on a day-to-day basis and it affects all the community,” said Renee Westermeyer of the Moms Demand Action Dayton chapter.

Westermeyer said her organization supports the second amendment.

“We support gun rights although we do think that there should be a smarter stronger, safer, approach to those rights,” Westermeyer said.

Guns are a difficult topic but the issue covers more than mass shootings. 

“It’s the every day gun violence. It’s the suicide. It’s domestic violence. It’s gun violence in communities of color,” said Lisa Geller, a policy analyst for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

Traveling to Dayton from Washington, D.C., Gellar hopes to see legislative changes.

“Gun violence should not be a political issue. We all want to live free of gun violence. We all want to make gun violence rare and abnormal,” Gellar said.

Borland hopes that is what is in store for his own nephew’s future. 

“Hopefully, by the time George is in elementary school, but certainly high school, we’re not having to have so many panel conversations on gun violence,” Borland said.

Borland plans to the make the festival an annual event.

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