“It’s the parents. The grandparents. The brothers. The sisters. The kids in the school. People don’t realize the impact it has on the whole society,” says Orcel, a member of Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough.
An event Sunday seeks to promote awareness of this issue.
A Forum on Preventing Gun Violence will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Congregation B’nai Shalom, 117 East Main St., Westborough. Admission is free.
Congregation B’nai Shalom and the Greater Worcester Coalition Against Gun Violence are co-sponsoring the forum.
The forum’s title is deliberate, says Jeff Govendo, chairman of the congregation’s social action committee.
“We’re trying to de-politicize the verbiage around this. Presumably, everybody is in favor of reducing gun violence,” he says.
“We’re going to have a uniformed police detail presence here just to make sure people understand that they can’t come for the purpose of disrupting the meeting or monopolizing the meeting.”
The forum is expected to have three panelists: Dr. David Hemenway, professor of health policy, and director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center at the Harvard School of Public Health; Dr. Michael Hirsh, surgeon in chief at the UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center; and Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Worcester).
Govendo says he will moderate the panel, which will include presentations by the speakers.
Orcel says that Hemenway will offer “very fact oriented” tips on how to “get informed” and be active on this issue.
And she says Hirsh has a personal connection to gun violence.
“When he was a student in New York, one of his best friends and colleagues was working out of the hospital and got shot,” Orcel says.
“As a surgeon, he deals with so many people that have been hurt. We talk about the deaths. But there are a lot of other people that have been hurt.”
Govendo says McGovern won’t attend if the House is in session.
Orcel says the Massachusetts Coalition Against Gun Violence formed after concerns were raised throughout the Bay State following Sandy Hook.
“Every single day, 88 people die from gun violence, including eight kids. It means that every two or three days, there is a little Newtown happening. And people don’t know. It seems like it’s so huge. How come it’s not covered in the news?” asks Orcel, a member of the coalition.
“The fact is that the big, splashy news stories represent a tiny, tiny percentage of the number of gun deaths,” Govendo says.