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Activist concerned with deadly shootings to start 2022

By CONNOR MCCARTHY

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    GRESHAM, Oregon (KPTV) — After three deadly shootings in the metro area on New Year’s Day, one anti-gun violence activist group is speaking out.

Rev. Mark Knutson of Augustana Lutheran Church said shootings in Gresham and Portland less than 24 hours into the New Year is disheartening. He is also the chair of Life Every Voice Oregon, an anti-gun violence activist group.

“They’re somebody’s son, somebody’s daughter, relative, these are family members,” Knutson said.

In Portland, two people were killed in a shooting in northeast Portland. Saturday afternoon, gunfire also killed someone in Gresham. All these shootings are coming off a deadly and violent 2021 with gun violence in the metro area.

“Loss of life is pure tragedy,” Knutson said. “But to begin this new year with a rash of shootings even more so.”

Knutson said he is optimistic things will start changing in 2022. Lift Every Voice Oregon is trying to get to two initiatives on the November ballot this year. They include banning assault rifles and high-capacity magazines.

“I’ve always found, action leads to energy,” Knutson said. “So, if you’re tired, act and join in. We have to do something.”

Lift Every Voice has until July 8 to get 140,000 signatures on their petition for their initiatives to be put on the ballot. Knutson is confident they will meet that goal.

“When people die on the streets, that is somebody’s child,” Knutson said. “We have to remember that. That’s not some abstract number. That’s a human being. We need to rise up. When my neighbor bleeds, we all bleed.”

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