By John Besch
(June 11, 2022) About 30 people gathered outside the Methodist Church at the top of Main Street early Saturday evening to declare “enough is enough”.
Following the mass shootings in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, Texas, Nantucket students, clergy and musicians gathered to protest gun violence.
Attendees came with pro-gun control signs reading “You don’t need a gun to feel powerful” and “Thoughts, Prayers, REFORM” among other calls for change. Religious leaders from several spiritual communities, led by Reverend Linda Simmons of the Unitarian Meeting House, organized the nearly hour-long event.
JohnCarl McGrady, a 2021 graduate of Nantucket High School who just completed his freshman year at Williams College, recalled the day the students suffered an active shooter threat.
“I know what it’s like to sit in a classroom thinking someone’s out in the hall trying to kill you,” McGrady said on the church steps. “I know what it’s like to hide behind a desk while two kids are having panic attacks 10 feet away from you and you can’t go help them because the shooter might see you.”
Kathryn Kyomitmaitee and Maryann Vasquez-Cruz came straight from their high school graduation to speak to the crowd about gun violence.
Kyomitmaitee lamented the unfulfilled promise of mass shooting casualties. “These people could grow up to be extraordinary individuals who could help push our country towards a better future. The numbers keep piling up, but little or no action has been taken,” she said.
“The NRA wields tremendous power over gun laws,” Vasquez-Cruz said, still in her graduation gown. “This is an association struggling with millions of dollars of mismanagement and financial misconduct by their leaders, but all of these people stand proud and proud as they tell us that guns are still not responsible for the gun violence.”
Susan Berman and Ray Saunders rewrote the chorus of the African-American spiritual chant “Down by the Riverside” and called on attendees to join them in chanting “enough is enough.”