Mayor Bill Peduto meets with Parkland, Fla., survivors
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and survivors of the Parkland, Fla. mass shooting vowed Friday to join forces in efforts to end gun violence in America.
Peduto said the three-hour meeting in his City Hall conference room included members of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community and students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. They gathered to heal together and discuss action plans after Parkland and the Oct. 27 mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill.
“Our goal is to be able to work together in order to bring about change, change that no other city has to learn these lessons, change that no other individual has to have these feelings, change that no one has to suffer because of laws that may be legal but are not just,” Peduto said.
Parkland survivors and parents who lost children are visiting Pittsburgh to meet with city residents and officials. The emotional meeting with Peduto came after stops at Taylor Allderdice High School and the Jewish Community Center.
“February 14 in Parkland, Fla., and October 27 here in Pittsburgh has changed our lives forever, and being here this weekend with all of you will show that no matter what happens we will always come back stronger than we were before and that we can keep fighting for a stronger, better future,” said Alyssa Fletcher, who will be a high school senior in Parkland.
Those in the meeting said the country must end hatred and divisiveness and called for laws that would limit access to military-style weapons and take guns out of the hands of those with mental and emotional problems. They lauded Pittsburgh for the series of gun bills approved by City Council earlier this week that are awaiting Peduto’s signature.
”We’re here today to try to help Pittsburgh heal the same way other people tried to help us heal after Parkland because as someone said were all members of a club that we never wanted to be part of,” said Michael Schulman, the father of Parkland victim Scott Beigel. “I’m asking the people who can hear our voices and see our faces to get out and do something. Contact your local mayor, contact your local congressman, contact your local senator, whoever it is, and try to make a difference, because only you can.”
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .