NEWINGTON — Loren Selig felt compelled to join a protest outside the Sig Sauer firearms headquarters Friday following the killing of 19 children and two teachers at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school this week.
Protesters called for an end to manufacturing assault-style weapons and for legislation to require background checks and other measures.
“I am heartbroken. I am so disappointed in the legislators who have blocked smart gun control laws,” Selig said. “They’re not doing what’s best for our children who are truly our future and not the guns.”
Sig Sauer manufactures firearms, electro-optics, ammunition, suppressors, air guns and also provides training. The company recently announced it landed a $4.5 billion contract with the US Army to provide weapons systems.
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The protest, organized by church pastor Dave Grishaw-Jones, attracted members of Grishaw-Jones’s church and others in the faith community, as well as teachers and students.
Selig, a member of Oyster River Parents for Gun Control group and a former teacher in Maryland, is planning to run for state representative in 2022.
“One of the actions that I am recommitted to is that I am running for office, so that I can push for gun control laws myself,” Selig said.
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According to Selig, gun legislation she will be pushing for will include mandatory background checks and waiting periods for gun buyers, as well as requiring gun owners to be licensed and have their licenses renewed in-person periodically in order to have their mental health evaluated. Selig also emphasized the need for red flag laws.
“We need to make sure that people like the shooter at the elementary school the other day don’t have the ability to go out and buy two assault rifles two days apart,” Selig said.
Grishaw-Jones said protesting in front of Sig Sauer was important because it manufactures guns and because the perpetrator of the Orlando, Florida, shooting of LGBTQ+ community members at a nightclub in 2016 used a Sig Sauer MCX Rifle. Fifty people were killed and 53 wounded.
“There’s a lot of weariness around this, a lot of anger and a lot of despair even, that nothing’s changing,” Grishaw-Jones said. He added that in the past, the church has held candlelight vigils after mass shootings. However, he said, this time the group wanted to be more demonstrative.
“I think about my kids a lot when it comes to things like this,” Grishaw-Jones said. “I want them to know I’m not sitting still.”
Jonathan Bromley, a science teacher at Oyster River High School, shared his thoughts.
“Being a teacher, you know, the shooting in Texas last week hits pretty close to home,” Bromley said.
“You have to practice for these hypotheticals that aren’t actually so hypothetical,” he added, referring to schools being equipped with bulletproof glass and requiring regular lockdown drills. “It’s very troubling when you have to go through those drills, and you’re looking at kids and not knowing how to process it.”
A vigil was planned to be held before the Sunday service at Community Church of Durham Sunday, May 29 to honor the victims of the recent Buffalo and Uvalde shootings. The congregation will be joined by members of St. George’s Episcopal Church who will read aloud the names of the children who died.
“There’s no reason for us not to take action,” Selig said.
Samantha Piatt, spokesperson for Sig Sauer, answered a phone call Friday with a request to comment for this story. Hours later, she had not provided a comment.
This article is shared by Granite State News Collaborative.