Community members working to eliminate gun violence in Lynchburg

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Many in Lynchburg are questioning a recent uptick in crime and gun violence. Some say Lynchburg has seen too many shootings this year.

As community leaders continue to promote safety and take action in Lynchburg, a number of community members say there aren’t enough people actually trying to make all neighborhoods safe.

Brenda Moss founded the Shawn Moss Wellness and Growth Foundation.

“The most devastating part of living in Lynchburg, was when my son, Shawn, my oldest son was shot and killed in 2014,” said Moss.

The foundation focuses on bringing education and awareness on local gun violence issues.

“The crime in Lynchburg has grown, and it has grown at an enormous rate. And if we want to speak to crime, we have to speak to poverty, and we have to speak to education,” said Moss.

She adds that one issue is that Black and brown communities are hurting, while other parts of the city are thriving.

“It’s almost as if there’s a curtain hanging between the two sides. Unless the side that’s not being affected opens up the curtain and really sees what’s behind it, then nothing will be done,” said Moss.

Angela Payne-Cox owns a local non-profit, Lady Builder LLC., a Christian non-profit that practices outreach in Lynchburg.

“A lot of children, because they may be in single-home families, a lot of our children are dealing with rejection issues,” said Payne-Cox.

According to Payne-Cox, there’s a lack of productive activities for area youth and a lack of funding for them to remain consistent.

“They have to have consistency. We cant come somewhere one time and not come back,” said Payne-Cox.

On Aug. 5, the Shawn Moss Wellness and Growth Foundation will be collecting remembrance objects for those who’ve lost a loved one to gun violence. They’ll be traveling to D.C. to add it to the Gun Violence Memorial Project at the National Mall.

The ‘Shawn Moss Wellness and Growth Foundation’ is also having a safety and self-care event at the Jubilee Center on Thursday, Aug. 5 from 4 to 7 p.m.

They’ll be celebrating the life of Shawn Moss by giving away back-to-school items and free gun locks.

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