‘We hear gun fire all the time here’: KC community stands up against gun violence, draws crowd, honks and hope

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City Police are investigating their 58th homicide of the year.

Sade Abdi, 27, was shot around 9:15 Saturday night in the Pendleton Heights neighborhood.

He was found lying on the ground near a car at an apartment near Brooklyn and Lexington. Abdi is a member of the Somali community.

The crime happened during National Wear Orange for Gun Safety weekend.

As of Sunday, 158 days have passed in 2019. Police statistics show 58 people have been killed in Kansas City during that time. In 2018, the figure was 50.

On Sunday afternoon, 40 people clad in orange stood at the intersection of 31st and Prospect. They held signs, encouraged honking, and chanted.

The intersection of 31st and Prospect is busy. Both with traffic and crime. “We hear gun fire all the time here,” Rosilyn Temple said as she stood on the sidewalk.

She stood in an area known for crime, and denounced it. As she spoke, cars drove by.

“It makes you happy,” as another honking car drove past. “It gives us adrenaline cause people do care.”

She was interrupted again by car horns. “Look, everybody`s not bad in Kansas City.”

Temple needs this motivation. The head of Kansas City’s Mothers In Charge has been at every homicide this year.

And in a different way, so has Mothers Demand Action. The coalition has been pushing common sense gun control in state legislatures for years. On Sunday, a group of them did it again at the Kansas City Library’s Bluford branch.

Kara Werner has been a part of the organization for years. “I pour every other second that I have into continuing to fight to end preventable gun violence,” she said emphatically. “Gun violence is preventable.”

Yet it continues to happen. The fight against crime isn’t fast or easy. And sometimes, those in orange feel like they’re losing.

“They’re already projecting this to be the worst year that we’ve seen in several years for gun violence,” Werner said.

But they keep trying. Sunday’s meeting included Temple’s Mothers in Charge and a large table full of donations to Healing Pathways Victims Services.

Those diapers and clothes are needed. Already, Healing Pathways is planning for its annual Christmas event. Its founder says it will be its biggest yet, due to the increasing number of crime victims.

Just outside the Bluford Branch, at the intersection of Prospect, there is pain. But the crowd still cheered, and the cars still honked.

But with each honk, there is also a prospect for change.

“We need the community,” Temple said. “Without the community, nothing’s going to change.”

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