At least 100 Minnesotans braved the bitter cold to hold an interfaith candlelight vigil Wednesday night at Mt. Zion Temple in St. Paul on the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings.
Preceding the vigil, Protect Minnesota met in the temple where people spoke about gun violence that has affected their families’ lives and people they have known, such as the students of educators and the clients of social workers.
Participants were asked by the Protect Minnesota Executive Director the Rev. Nancy Nord Bence to have respectful conversations with people, even if they disagree on gun violence protection, “to soften hearts” rather than change minds.
“The weakest state law will become the national standard” if the Mandated Concealed Carry bill is passed by legislators, Rev. Bence said. If this bill passes, Minnesota would recognize all carry permits from all states including those who don’t require a permit to carry a firearm, she added. Introduction of the legislation is expected by the spring of 2017.
Minnesota groups and individuals involved in gun violence protection include hunters, sport shooters, licensed dealers, veterans and interfaith religious groups such as Muslim and Jewish Women of Minnesota and Daughters of Abraham (Jewish, Christian and Muslim.)