Academia Avance Mourns Nation's Shooting Victims

The vigil followed last Friday's school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

One by one, 16 mourners who gathered at the Monday night vigil at Academic Avance Public Charter School read from a piece of paper descriptions of incidents mass shootings that took place in the United States within the last year.

"March 31, 2012, North Miami Florida, two killed, 12 injured when a gunman opened fire at funeral home," read one man.

"May 29, 2012, Seattle, six killed after a man opened fire at coffee shop killing patrons and then himself," read a teenage boy.

On and on it went until the last of the community members in line read a description of last Friday's school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"Dec 14, 2012, Newtown Connecticut, a young man shoots students and  teachers at an elementary school, then kills himself."

The crowd of community members gathered at Academic Avance Public Charter School on Monday stood in silence with candles in hand as they listened to the descriptions of the shootings.

"These situations, we can talk about what caused them, but you can always ascribe them to a person feeling like they were not loved. The President spoke about that in his speech last night," said Ricardo Mireles, director of Academia Avance Public Charter School. "Who among us has not felt unloved at some point?"

Mireles said organized the vigil not only to commemorate the lives that were taken in mass shootings, but also to offer a reminder that such incidents are the result of individuals feeling isolated or unloved.

"We were all children, and at one point we have all been loved," Mireles said, prior the the vigil. "The Newton shootings are a harsh reminder of what can happen when just one among us is not loved enough."

After the incidents had been read, Mireles asked that the gathered mourners blow out their candles. As they stood in darkness, he said it was up to each member of the community to share their light with the others.

"We need to share the light we have with those around us," he said "And, we need to share our love with all of those around us."

Following the vigil, Mireles elaborated on what he meant by "sharing the light."

"It can be about psychiatric care, or gun control or just about how we're going to love each other," he said.


The MOG December 19, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Lots of wisdom here. I am, for one, appalled that Gun Control Advocates, are seeking to exploit this horrible nightmare to further thier political agenda, which is the banning of all firearms. We should blame the Fools, not the Tools... For every mass shooting you can name, there are many more instances where firearms have stopped a crime, prevented killing. We have a spiritual problem in this country. Too many people look towards government, rather than thier creator for the answers. Too many look outside themselves, rather than the devine spark within. Also, can not express strongly enough my opposition to the demonizing of the mentally ill. Scitzophrenics are LESS likely to commit violent crimes, and are MORE LIKELY to be victims. This is a fact. Sometimes you just can't blame anything, or anyone, but the perpatrator himself! I'm greatly impressed with the students at Academic Avance...
ChickenBoyFan December 19, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Assault weapons, and their nasty spawn should be banned. The Raygun-Bush-Bush years will go down in history as our most ignorant, by far. We let the gun lobby call the shots(no pun intended), and we have virtually no defenders in the congress or the senate,with enough guts to ban them. We need to heal our country. We need to turn our swords back into plowshares. Get guns out now! Too many mental defectives are allowed to have them. Ted Nugent, for instance, has no business owning a gun. That guy is disturbed, and yet they love him in the NRA.
The MOG December 20, 2012 at 06:08 AM
Out of respect for the dead, I want to let some time pass, before I start to engage on a level of political rancor. It makes me physically ill, that some people would be so cold, and classless, as to take advantage of this terrible crime, this slaughter of innocents, to further a political agenda. That is unseemly, and unfortunate. I am also mindful that US Unmanned Arial Drones have rained wantoned death from above upon scores of innocent men, women, and children; "wedding parties", in the name of assasinating Al Queda Opperatives. If it was considered immoral for a airforce fighter/bomber to drop bombs on civilians from the impersonal hieghts of the troposphere, are much more so, when done by joy stick, an ocean away? I'm conscious of the fact, that in Chicago, young people are intimately familar with gun violence. And I am painfully aware of the "murders by gun" that marked 2012, for many of our nieghborhoods. I won't pretend that 2nd Amend. issues are easy, and that basic Civil Rights/Human Rights (to self-defense), are not pertinent.
El Cid December 20, 2012 at 06:19 AM
I'm confused....didn't you do the very thing you said, you wouldn't? I can't begin to imagine what Newtown, Connecticut community is going through, but I would like to express my sincerest condolences to them all. Please consider Ann Curry's, NBC News commentator, tweeted a challenge, “Imagine if everyone could commit to doing one act of kindness for every one of those children killed in Newtown.” Join in and do 26 Acts of Kindness!
Hooper Humperdink December 20, 2012 at 07:05 AM
Something that never seems to come up in this wall-to-wall coverage (even on public television and radio!) is that the more we turn these murderers into celebrities, focus on their body counts, and make every mundane fact about them an important news update - the more we convince others like them that this is the way to go out and have their problems, their will, their existence acknowledged. We need to ban media coverage of these events outside of the most boring facts about the event. The coverage should be legally mandated to be muted, to talked about a sad loser that people care even less for now than when they went and did this terrible thing, and media should not be allowed to have the shooters faces or names published outside of the small town this incident occurred in.
The MOG December 20, 2012 at 03:21 PM
I did not... I'm old enough to remember (& so are you,btw), when the U.S. Pres. didn't show up at every tragic domestic incidence of mass murder, where the first thing out of his mouth is the politization of a Hot Button Issue, to endorse a political position; i.e. The banning of firearms in our country. I think prudence, and common decency, dictate that the conversation WAIT, until AFTER the passion of the moment as past. If not, then we risk crafting law out of hysteria. Besides, how many people do you know that can intelligently (w/o insults) discuss the 2nd Amend., the Constitution, The Bill Of Rights, Citizenship??? Puhleez!!! I'd just prefer non-emotional responce to life's problems. Especially where Acts Of Congress are concerned. As for acts of kindness, yesterday was the homeless cold weather clothes/ropa drive. How many spare sweaters, sweatshirts, socks, etc. did you drop off at Eagle Rock City Hall? See? It doesn't do any good getting on a self righteous trip. God bless the survivors, and the children. I shudder when I think of those poor children. But as a christian, I am compelled to remember the lost soul that committed the crime! May God have mercy! Christ came for such as these! However, I didn't know any of these victims personally. I certainly haven't shed tears over them. I have my own problems.
The MOG December 20, 2012 at 03:42 PM
This commemt came out confaluted. I wanted to make the anaology of the bombing of villages and cities by the US during the Vietnam War. That it is was considered immoral, to inflict death from the impersonal distance of a fighter/bomber jet, miles in the sky. Far away from the faces of thier helpless victims. Scores of which were women and children. The same thing takes place now, in our war in Central Asia. Only now, the controller of mass death is a continent away, guiding an unmanned drone. How much more impersonal/immoral is that, by comparison? Pres. Kennedy said that whether or not freedom would survive in our nation would depend on the type of society we build, here at home. That if we did well here, then freedom would have a better chance of survival. And that we could then become an example for the world. Applying our energy and resources in assisting others in doing the same things, exporting freedom. But if we fail, then freedom fails. And the world will drift towards Communist China & Russia. That dynamic still exists, and Pres. Kennedy's words still ring true. We haven't done good in building our society. The poverty among blacks and hispanics are at historic highs, the drop out rates in LAUSD are a crime in it self. Sex Trade is multi-billion dollar industry, adultury and divorse are common place, and mainstay. So is abortion. One thing I do know, the problem is not the "Mentally Ill." Merry Christmas EVERYONE!
ChickenBoyFan December 20, 2012 at 04:41 PM
We are talking about innocent children who spent their last moments on earth in a state of horrific terror that culminated in their effortless slaughter. Like shooting fish in a barrel. @MOG: The fact that you have the audacity to quote the utterly, hateful, rancid, and sociopathilogical Ted Nugent's "don't blame the tools, blame the fools" line, says a lot about you, and all of the WILEY FOX news watching, "true believers".
El Cid December 20, 2012 at 05:26 PM
The quickest way to become a troubled soul is to be concerned with what people are doing. You need not concern yourself with me! You have the choice to accept the challenge of 26 Acts of Kindness or not. For you I extend, "May the closeness of friends, comfort of home and the unity of our community renew your spirits this holiday season!"
Xrosas December 20, 2012 at 06:57 PM
I agree with Chicken Boy Fan. If we don't push for gun control now then how many more Sandy Hook Elementary school shootings do we have to go through? Do you think it would have happened in the same way if assault rifles would have been banned after the Colorado Movie Massacre? If not now then when?
The MOG December 20, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Same to you, I'm sure.
The MOG December 20, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Merry Christmas CBF!
The MOG December 20, 2012 at 07:01 PM
I agree, the conversation must be had, but not now. At least not for me. You can. I prefer to spend the holiday season reflecting on other things... Merry Christmas, to you and yours, Xrosas! Bless us, every one!
Moyuoylcahn December 29, 2012 at 06:38 PM
PATCH Editors are against the 1st Amendment. You can say anything, as long as it doesn't violate what is the popular misconception. You can insult the Pres., as long as he's a republican. Comments pointing out the extreme musculature physique of the 1st Lady are deemed unprintable! Unless that 1st Lady is Nancy Reagan! That's BS! You deleted my profile with no explanation!


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