NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Mothers Over Murder gathered in North Nashville on the first day of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week to offer support to those affected by violence and call for gun reform.  

One by one, mothers unloaded into the parking lot of the Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday, April 23. They each had a story.

For example, Rafiah Muhammad-McCormick remembered her 29-year-old son, Rodney Armstrong, who was shot outside their home after getting into an argument with an acquaintance in July 2020.  

“I had worked 25 years in the automotive industry, living in suburbia in my fenced-in backyard, and thought that we were exempt, and nobody is exempt. It can happen anywhere,” Muhammad-McCormick said.

Clemmie Greenlee led the charge Sunday afternoon to unite survivors from all walks of life and from across the country. She teamed up with Voices of Black Mothers United, a national organization that brought members all the way from Washington, D.C. 

“Everybody all over the world is hurting. Everybody in Tennessee is hurting. This violence has been erupted to a level that I can’t even understand,” Greenlee said. “There’s no such thing as a separation in gun violence and gun loss… One bullet kills everybody. One pain is my pain, the Covenant pain, the Waffle House pain, and the other mass shooting pain.” 

James Shaw Jr., deemed a hero after the mass shooting at an Antioch Waffle House five years ago, showed up alongside faith leaders and other community members to call for change and address a problem they said is only getting worse.  

“If we don’t start focusing on number one, gun access, and number two, the root causes of violence, then we’re going to keep on repeating this,” Muhammad-McCormick said. “My scare is just like the community has gotten desensitized to violence, I’m afraid they also are getting desensitized to mass shootings.”

If you or someone you know has been impacted by violence, you are encouraged to check out the programs and resources on the Nashville Peacemakers’ website.