The Pioneer Valley Project had planned Friday’s protest outside the Smith & Wesson factory gates well before a gunman took the lives of 49 people in two shootings at mosques in New Zealand.
But those shootings, only hours old, weighed heavily on the roughly 50 young people and adult chaperones who gathered for the protest on Roosevelt Avenue in favor of stricter gun controls.
The Pioneer Valley Project is an organization of teens, religious groups, labor unions and others that advocates around issues like criminal justice reform, education, housing and stopping gun violence.
The event was also organized by the B-Peace for Jorge Campaign of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. Jorge was 19-year-old Jorge Fuentes, who was murdered while walking his dog in Dorchester 2012.