People of different faiths gather, walk for stricter gun laws in Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. --  Dozens of people came together in Dauphin County Sunday afternoon to take part in Harrisburg's Gun Violence Awareness Day.

"If I knew I was saying goodbye to my son, I would've held on just a little bit longer," said Movita Johnson Harrell, a mother from Delaware County who lost her son to gun violence.

Movita Johnson Harrell tells parents to embrace their children a little longer and to love a bit harder in Harrisburg.

"26 days after my son died, his only child was born; he'll never know his father!" said Johnson Harrell.

Johnson Harrell buried her 18-year-old son, Charles Andre Johnson, a young man who was gunned down in a case of mistaken identity.

"I stand witness with this interfaith movement to show people that your kid doesn't have to be doing anything wrong to be a statistic on the street, that none of us are safe in this problem," she said.

People of all different faiths took that message to the streets of Harrisburg, signs in hand.

"Nowadays, the kids in the community feel like they can't even walk home from school, without having the fear in being gunned down senselessly, and it really is a shame," said Sy Willis, a participant from Harrisburg.

People walked from St. Paul's Episcopal Church to Beth El Synagogue, where shirts represented more than 100 lives lost as a result of gun violence in the city since 2009.

Religious leaders urged other faith-based organizations to not only pray for change but to take action.

"The faith community can have an impact, nationally, as it has for every social movement in American history," said Bryan Miller, an organizer.

Many people said it's important to not push the issue of gun violence under the rug.

"We see guns are causing a lot of violence in the area, so 'would you want your family to be affected by this?' That's the whole question?" added Willis.

Nearly 20 different religious organizations were represented.