‘We have babies killing babies’: Community leaders continue call for gun violence to end at Penn Park event

MADISON, Wis. – Community leaders continued to call for an end to gun violence during a community event on Madison’s south side Sunday afternoon.

The ‘Unity Walk for Change’ event brought more than 100 people to Madison’s Penn Park, where speakers advocated a change.

“Today is important because the rise of gun violence that’s taken place in our community,” said Felicia Anderson, Executive Director of DSS Community Center. “Our community is being ripped open by gun violence. What we want to do is bring the community together to find their voice.”

After several community and religious leaders addressed the crowd, those in attendance marched silently around an adjacent south side neighborhood, stopping for a moment of silence to honor 11-year-old Anisa Scott, who was shot and killed on August 11.

“The people are hurting,” Anderson said.  “We lost an 11-year-old baby. The community is hurting. The community is tired. We want solutions.”

“I have been just really distraught over the amount of gun violence we’ve had this year,” said Shari Carter, Madison Common Council President and District 14 Alder. “If we can touch one family and can touch one young person to put down the guns, then we’ve accomplished the goal. We have to start somewhere. If we have to start with one family, that’s what we’ll do.”

Sunday’s event also focused on community engagement, with an emphasis on the importance of voting. Anderson says groups like DSS, while sometimes struggling with funding, are doing what they can to provide a positive example for Madison youth.

“We need to be the beacon of hope that our next generation has to look forward to,” she said. “We can’t for people in power that we expect to lead us to help us.”