Fremont gets a jump start on planned nationwide gun reform rallies

Gun reform rallies are planned across the nation this Saturday, but Fremont got a jump start Friday night. 

Dozens of people there are calling on Congress to end summer recess and to work on gun safety. 

Organizers worry that momentum eases with every day that passes since the last mass shooting. 

Congress is scheduled to come back September 8. Activists point out with 100 gun deaths a day in the U.S., the clock is ticking. 

At a busy Fremont intersection, grassroots gun activism was not on summer break as people held signs in the shape of headstones, each commemorating a mass shooting. 

One mother, a nurse, said it hit her while making the signs, that the government had a huge response to ebola, when three people died a few years ago. She notices the response to gun violence has not been met with the same alarm. 

"When I go out with my son, I make a plan in my head for where we would run and where we would hide," Bridget McShea, a nurse said. 

"They're hoping we're going to cool down and that's why we do these types of things," said protest organizer Toni Shellen with Brady United Against Gun Violence. She said gun reform opponents in Congress want the recent mass shootings to fade before they tackle the issue. 

The GOP and President Trump have expressed willingness to look at stronger background checks and red-flag restrictions, but Trump avoids blaming the glut of guns or availability of high-powered guns. 

This week, the president suggested more hospitals for the mentally ill would be a solution. 

"We don't want people that are mentally ill, people that are sick. We don't want them having guns," Trump said. 

But it's a connection the data doesn't support. 

"They're much more likely to be the victims of violence than to perpetrate it, and I think it's somewhere under five percent of the violence," said Rev. Barbara Meyers with Mental Health Ministry. 

"I have very little faith that whatever they do will be enough at this point," said Leda Mares, a third-grade teacher. "I feel the rights of some are taking away the right of liberty, freedom and feeling at peace and safe for the majority of us." 

"I'm sad and I'm angry that this is the new normal. This seems inevitable that multiple mass shootings happen on a single day," said 14-year-old Annie Koruga. 

"This is what I want to say to the Senate and Mitch McConnell, 'Do your job and pass a law,'" said a mother who spoke at the rally. 

Gun reform groups that formed after Sandy Hook and Parkland are holding rallies in all fifty states this weekend. 

They are also spending nearly $1 million on ads against several Republican senators who have been resistant to change.