JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On the heels of two mass shootings that left at least 30 people dead over this weekend in Ohio and Texas, a group of concerned citizens in Jacksonville met at a brewing company Sunday in Springfield to discuss gun violence.
Their conversation focused on the root of gun violence, the impact on the community and the ways families can work together to help.
As the nation mourns the tragedies in El Paso and Dayton, about 50 people showed up to Hyperion Brewing Company, not just for morning coffee, but for a conversation about gun violence in our country.
"Earlier this week, there were four shootings in four hours (in Jacksonville) and then two mass shootings in our nation. People are dying. Innocent children are going to school having to buy bulletproof backpacks. This is an issue we need to be wrestling with," said Rev. Susan Rogers, pastor of The Well at Springfield.
The Well at Springfield is a small ministry that's been hosting brunches over the summer. Sunday's topic of gun violence was already planned before the mass shootings occurred.
"It makes me sick to my stomach, really. I'm brokenhearted for the families. It makes me worried about our future and the future we are leaving behind for our children," Roger said. "There is just not enough happening to address gun safety, responsible gun ownership, consequences for guns being stolen out of cars."
Rogers said they are hoping for more than just thoughts and prayers, but for the community to actually take action and make changes.
"There are mental health issues that need to be talked about and issues with safety in schools that need to be talked about. It is a many-layered problem that we need to be addressing together," she said.
The ministry admits it doesn't have all the answers but they hope to get the conversation going so there will one day be a solution.