Son of Sikh Temple Victim Speaks out Against Gun Violence


It's been three years since a gunman entered the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin and opened fire, but for Amar Kaleka, the emotions remain strong.

Kaleka's father was one of six victims, killed in the Oak Creek temple.

      "Over the years, seeing how many people are affected by gun violence, it becomes sad," says Kaleka.

Sunday night, friends and family gathered around Kaleka's kitchen table, using their hands to speak out against gun violence.

The group created over 100 orange ribbons, ready for a Monday vigil honoring victims of gun violence. Monday marks three years since a gunman killed 26 at a Newtown Connecticut elementary school.

      "The vigils are not just there for the sadness," says Kaleka. "They are there for the activation, the understanding that you have to participate in this democracy in order to get peace."

Among those in attendance, Khary Penebaker, whose mother committed suicide with a gun when he was a child.

      "I've lost 36 Christmases, 36 birthdays, 36 Thanksgivings with my mother," says Penebaker. "She's never met my wife, she's never seen my 3 kids, and my story is not unique unfortunately." 

Monday's event will focus on victims like Penebaker. Organizers hope stories will leave a lasting impact, that statistics can't always produce.

      "When you put a face and a story behind those numbers, it can really make a huge difference," says Penebaker. 

Monday's vigil will take place from 5-7PM at Cross Lutheran Church, 1821 N. 16th St., Milwaukee, WI. 

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