Spartanburg mom who lost son launches new Moms Demand Action chapter
They’re people tied together by the same grief: Gun owners, non-owners, pastors, veterans, executives, and mothers looking for solutions. The new Spartanburg Moms Demand Action chapter says more representation is part of that.
GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Since 2012, Moms Demand Action has turned activism into political power fighting for gun laws and policies for a safer country. And here in South Carolina, chapters are celebrating 10 years of fighting for what they call common-sense laws and policies.
They’re people tied together by the same grief: Gun owners, non-owners, pastors, veterans, executives, and mothers looking for solutions. The new Spartanburg chapter says more representation is part of that.
Wilma Moore has become a well-documented civil rights activist working in the heart of Spartanburg’s Highland neighborhood and other underserved pockets in the county.
“I look for second chance companies to refer people to give them another chance. Some people just need another shot,” she said.
Moore’s a connector who this week is taking on another title.
“Every week, a mom or a friend of mine is being affected by gun violence,” she said. “A high percentage of people of color are the ones that are getting killed by these guns.”
A circumstance Moore knows well. Her son, 19-year-old Kiyounnie was killed in 2017 which lit her civil rights fire.
“It’s the only way I can hold him now,” she said.
And effective Jan. 23, Moore is chapter leader for the first Moms Demand Action Spartanburg.
“I want to put a purpose to the pain,” she said.
The chapter is already unsatisfied with the 2,700 deaths to gun violence already in 2023 nationwide.
“If we had background checks, on all weapons, then weapons wouldn’t get into the hands of some who do not need them,” said Melody Geddis McFadden, whose mother and niece were killed to gun violence. “I do not want to keep weapons from all people. I’m a gun owner, proud gun owner.”
Geddis McFadden is a gun owner, pastor and activist who is choosing to work with the Spartanburg chapter after being personally touched.
“My message for people is to do something,” she said. “Do something before it happens to you. Before it comes to your family. Before it comes to your door.”
She’s also an active campaign spokesperson for secure gun storage.
“I’m a person that has evidence to that,” Geddis McFadden said.
It’s the level of outreach you’ll also see from others in this room, like from Roberta McKelvin.
“Sometimes once a week,” she said.
McKelvin’s only son Nate was killed in 2013. And she too is active and educating others.
“Be your loved one’s voice, also at the polls,” she said. “Vote for gun-sense candidates.”
In addition to educating the public, the Spartanburg chapter also wants more people of color to become more visibly involved and part of the solution.
“I want us to be represented, accounted for and spoken for,” Moore said.
“This is about saving lives,” said Geddis McFadden. “This is about young people being able to go to the beach, to the movie, to the parties – to whatever, and coming home to their families again. This is about keeping weapons out of the wrong hands.”
Wilma Moore is an activist who says the new chapter cannot operate in a silo. She’s looking for a team to help reach the public and find solutions. To learn more, call the Bethlehem Community Center at (864) 582-7158 or visit https://www.facebook.com/wjmoorewjmoore
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