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Vigil to pray for victims of school shooting

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Prayer vigil at Finlay Park for victims of Sandy Hook school shooting Prayer vigil at Finlay Park for victims of Sandy Hook school shooting
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

It was cold and blustery in Columbia Friday night, making the candles to remember the harsh acts of a week ago difficult to light, but the effort was made.

"I can't be there to give them a hug or say an encouraging word, so at least that they know people around this country are praying for them," said Adrien Lake, who is the parent of a five-year-old.

And pray is what the small group in Finlay Park did for the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

"It's time for us to start injecting some love into our schools," said the presiding pastor.

It was call to action.

"No longer can we just sit back and allow these heinous acts of violence to happen," said Kyle Greene, who organized the vigil. "So something needs to be done."

For some, it's inspiring kind acts.

"I heard Ann Curry talk about 26 Acts of Kindness this morning and felt something good has to come out of this," said Jane Hedden.

The National Rifle Association broke their silence Friday. The group's CEO called for armed police posted in American schools to stop the next killer "waiting in the wings." Some aren't so sure.

"I'm all for a solution," said Greene. "You just can't go out and throw anything against the wall and hope it sticks."

"Do I disagree with it? No, but I don't know if I agree with it either," said Lake. "But in the same breath, our children need to be protected and I feel if they are going to be protected I feel we should leave it up to law enforcement to do so."

Parents of five and six-year-olds aren't sure arming teachers is the solution either.

The local Friends of the NRA didn't want to comment, nor the sheriff's office that supplies school resource officers.

The pastor encouraged parents and kids to approach those who are different, including kids dubbed loners, and take steps to ensure the mentally ill get help, because if it happened in Newtown...

"That could have very well been me or anyone else in Columbia, South Carolina," said Greene.

They know the answers won't come easy, but hope the dialogue on gun control and safety in schools won't be just left blowing in the wind.

Lexington County will hold a candle light vigil Sunday at 5:00 at Town Center. Each of the 26 victim's names will be illuminated with a candle.

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