OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — When a 14-year-old shot and killed his adult son, Azim Khamisa decided to make a difference. He teamed up with the grandfather of his son’s killer, and on Monday, the two California men were the highlight of a community forum in Overland Park to end gun violence.
“His message is forgive, forget, take positive action. That’s what we hope to do,” said Judy Sherry, a co-chair of the event and member of Grandparents Against Gun Violence (GAGV).
This is the seventh time GAGV hosted the Heartland Coalition Against Gun Violence Community Forum. Monday’s event at the University of Kansas Edwards Campus focused on two initiatives: educate and advocate. Sherry said she wanted people to understand the impact violence has and inspire them to advocate for better laws or programs.
“What we now know is people don’t know how to resolve a conflict in any way other than anger or shooting," Sherry said. "That’s the other piece we hope people will learn."
The series of speakers Monday included emergency room doctors and a survivor of the 2018 Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.