Calandrian Kemp joined Mike Bloomberg’s Gun Violence Prevention Bus Tour through Charlotte
By Celest Hart
“Meet me at the cemetery,” said Calandrian Kemp, in regards to any backlash from the Mike Bloomberg Super Bowl advertisement called ‘George.’
Kemp, the mother of George Kemp Jr., 20, who was killed in Texas, in 2013, rode through Charlotte, February 7th, on the Mike Bloomberg Gun Violence Prevention Bus Tour, with her husband, George Kemp Sr. and Diana Earl, another Black Texan mother of a son, 22, murdered by gun violence.
"2,900 CHILDREN DIE FROM GUN VIOLENCE EVERY YEAR," the controversial ad stated.
“Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg's $10 million 2020 Super Bowl ad includes a misleading statistic concerning the number of children killed in violent gun-related crimes, and inaccurately suggests that an adult victim of gun crime in Texas was a child, Fox News has found,” excerpt from Super Bowl Sunday, February 2, Fox News article.
“I don’t listen. I know the journey. I got skin in the game. To get a phone call that your child is no longer in this world. Just because of his age does not mean he’s not my child. Anything anybody says is a misdemeanor,” said Calandrian.
Earl’s son, Dedrick, was killed November, 2016, in Austin, by unlicensed gun owner Melvin Stephens who was acquitted of murder.
“My only child was killed over burnt ashes left on a car. They claimed Stand Your Ground. We need to be more involved in the criminal justice system. We need people watching the courts. When I told my story, it resonated with Mike. Mike supports me,” said Earl.
Both mothers, motivated by their sons’ murders, became involved with the national group titled, Moms Demand Action which is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence, according to its website. Bloomberg co-founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns in 2006, as New York mayor and merged with Moms Demand Action in 2013.
“I am motivated to make changes that stop children from becoming statistics. You wonder if anybody is listening to you. Mike is doing something more. He is not afraid of the NRA (National Rifle Association). We have to stand behind Mike,” said Calandrian Kemp.
The bus tour, February 3rd thru 9th, coincided with National Gun Violence Survivors Week, also stopped in Orlando, Jacksonville, Savannah, Macon, Atlanta, Winston-Salem, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, Hampton, Richmond and Arlington.
Along the tour, gun violence survivors, told stories of their murdered ‘children’, included; Sharmaine Brown, son Jared, 23, killed2015, Brenda Moss, son, Jared, 34, killed 2014 and Julvonnia McDowell, son, JaJuan, 14, killed in 2016. Colin Goddard who at 21 was shot four times at Virginia Tech where, in 2007, 32 students and teachers were killed and 16 wounded by fellow student Seung-Hui Cho, and Sari Kaufman, student at Parkland, Florida’s Majory Stoneman Douglas High School where gunman and former student, Nikolas Cruz, killed 17 people, in February 2018.
Bloomberg’s Gun Safety Policy summary includes; more effective background checks, keep guns out of the wrong hands, tackle daily gun violence in the hardest-hit communities, ban assault weapons and protect schools and confront the gun lobby head-on, according to the Bloomberg website.