Dozens gather at Kansas City park to decry gun violence and raise awareness

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- More than 50 people wearing orange congregated on the Plaza at the JC Nichols fountain to discuss gun violence on Gun Violence Awareness Day. The rally was sponsored by both Grandparents Against Gun Violence and Mothers Demand Action.

The AdHoc Group Against Crime says roughly 70 people have died violently in the Kansas City Metro area this year - many of them by guns.

Fifty-five families in the Kansas City city limits alone have lost someone to violence this year - and 2017 isn't even halfway done. The point of the rallies is to raise awareness of gun violence. But for some families, like Aishah Coppage, that awareness happened when the bullets shot through their home.

"People in this city tend to forget," said Coppage in front of her house Friday afternoon. "But our family, we haven't. Like, every day this is an every day freakin struggle."

Her daughters and niece rode bikes outside. But last summer, the girls played with Montell and Jayden. The cousins were inseparable.

Until last August, someone shot into their house at 58th and College. The bullets killed the 8 and 9-year-old boys.

The bullets may have missed the rest of the family, but the pain hit everyone.

There are no leads in the case, which keeps Aishah Coppage's grief fresh. "What if you never get your time in court," she asked. "What if you never get justice? That stuff hurts."

Coppage and her family applaud the rally. "I think it's important, too, to show that were taking a stand right along with the city," she said. "We're not just giving up."

She made signs for the rally, showing her son Montell and her nephew Jayden. Coppage says any attention she can bring to the boys could bring her the justice she desperately wants.

"I'm just hoping that somebody will change their mind and if not turn theirself in," said Coppage, "that somebody will speak up."

There is a reward in the Montell and Jayden double homicide. Tips can be called into (816) 474-TIPS, and all calls are anonymous.