National City Church Hosts Gun Violence Awareness Event

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NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (KGTV) — Groups and organizations in San Diego joined a nationwide effort to raise awareness about gun violence this weekend.

In National City, gun violence survivors, former gang members and San Diego city officials spoke at a “Wear Orange” event at the Charity Apostolic Church.

Orange is the symbolic color of the gun violence prevention movement.

Cornelius Bowser is a bishop in the church and organized the event. He is also a former gang member.

“I’m a former Crip, and we’ve done a lot of damage in our community, so this is our way of paying back,” Bowser said.

Bowser now uses his ministry, Shaphat Outreach, to educate young people about gang and gun violence.

“The main thing to help them change their life is to change their way of thinking,” Bowser said.

During the event, Essie Mae Horne shared her story as a survivor of gun violence.

In 2006, Horne and her husband were shot during a home invasion. Her husband died.

Ten years later, his twin brother was shot and killed.

Horne not only talks about gun violence awareness and prevention, but advocates for more mental health resources to help people deal with trauma

“A lot of things need to change, but over time and events like the ones we have today, that will change because we come together in positivity and greatness,” Horne said.

San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliot also spoke at the event.

She said she supported banning assault rifles.

“I certainly appreciate that responsible gun owners have the ability to protect themselves, but do they need military-grade guns? I don’t see any logic in that,” Elliot said.

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