Moms Demand Action starts new chapter in Lorain County

OBERLIN, OH (WOIO) - A new chapter of the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is starting in Lorain County.

The group had its first meeting last week in Oberlin.

Founding members say that although there is already a chapter of the organization in Cleveland, they wanted to reach people in Lorain County, too.

The group, which describes itself as an organization demanding changes from legislatures to enact "common-sense gun reforms" was founded following the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012.

Since then, it's grown to include chapters all across the country. That now includes the group in Oberlin. Pam Vandersommen says she wanted to join after seeing news of another school shooting, this time in Parkland, Florida.

"I, you know, had to have a conversation with my 13-year-old daughter about what to do if something like that were to happen at her school," said Vandersommen. "It is very sobering to have to tell your 13-year-old to play dead or to run out of a school."

Laura Irvin, another founding member, says personal reasons have pushed her to be a part of the conversation.

"My high school class president committed suicide by gun, and I had another friend in high school that died by gun violence, suicide," said Irvin.

Both women acknowledge that tempers are heated surrounding guns, but they say their group is nonpartisan and includes gun owners, too.

"I personally am a gun owner," said Vandersommen. "We have them locked in a safe and the bullets are stored separately. We're in no way, we believe in the Second Amendment, and we believe that is something we should have as a country, but we also believe we should be having dialogue between each other to get some common sense things."

Those common sense things include education, outreach, and lobbying the legislature on some gun bills. That includes one bill that would allow for permitless carry in the State of Ohio.

"We want to make sure that that bill doesn't pass, because we think it's very important to have criminal background checks for somebody that has a gun," said Irvin. "We also want them to have training. We don't want people carrying loaded, concealed weapons that don't have any training, and don't know how to even fire a gun."

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