The "lie-down" outside the Bronx County Courthouse last Thursday (Photo: A. Watkins)
On April 16, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, a group that advocates for stricter gun laws, held rallies in Midtown, Harlem, and the Bronx to commemorate the third anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre.
Outside the Bronx Country Courthouse, volunteers lay down for three minutes to highlight the short length of time it takes to buy a gun in this country, and the speed with which VT student Seung-Hui Cho was able to kill his 32 victims.
April 16 is also the anniversary of a Bronx tragedy: the murder of toddler David Pacheco in Morris Heights on Easter Day 2006. His memory was also honored at the event.
David was sitting in the back of a minivan his mom was driving when a stray bullet tore through one of the doors and hit him in the chest. The crime remains unsolved. Gloria Cruz, president of the Bronx chapter of NYAGV, said she's trying to get "America's Most Wanted" to feature the case.
Next Tuesday, Cruz is travelling to Albany for NYAGV's annual "Sensible Gun Legislation Day" - part of a lobbying effort to encourage legislators to pass tougher laws, such as "microstamping" legislation, which would help police trace guns recovered in crimes. Among those accompanying her will be several high school students from the Bronx Youth Council, which was founded in January by the NYAGV and the borough president's office, following a spate of gun violence in the Bronx last fall.