ST. LOUIS – Passion poured out of people fed up with hearing the news that never seems to stop. In the City of St. Louis, there have been repeated reports of another person or another child lost to gun violence.
At least a dozen children 16 years old or younger have been fatally shot since April, police said.
“I was sitting next to her mother who has lost her child. There were several parents in the room who have lost their children,” said Nadida Matin, an attendee of the town hall meeting. “We all know that we didn`t get here overnight.”
A panel of city leaders took to the stage during the forum to push legislation that would allow local government to create gun laws tailored to their community.
The “Local Public Health” act was drafted “to encourage states to allow local governments to implement laws to reduce gun violence, and for other purposes.”
The public safety director cited staggering statistics during the meeting. He says to date, there are 134 homicides compared to 119 at the same time last year.
He reports more than 1,400 hundred cases turned over to federal authorities because of limitations on Missouri gun laws.
“While everybody is preparing their remarks, people are preparing funeral arrangements for their eight-year-old daughters… but it`s a start,” Matin said.
In the meeting, there were several groups of family members wearing t-shirts with pictures of young people killed in shootings.
“These are my four nephews,” Shawsy Cody said while looking down at her shirt. “They were all murdered at the same time. A whole chunk of our heart was taken from us.”
There were moments of both applause and outrage as the community came together to find ways to silence the shots ringing out across the city.
One man was escorted out of the meeting after an outburst from the crowd. He screamed out that city leaders weren’t doing anything.
“I completely understand,” Matin said. “Edwards was apologizing for this man`s outburst, but everybody in the room understood and agreed with him….the frustration.”
CNN Wire contributed to this report.