Hundreds of protesters were protesting Saturday in Washington and across the United States to call on lawmakers to pass legislation aimed at curbing gun violence in the aftermath of last month’s massacre at a texas elementary school.
March for Our Lives (MFOL), the gun safety group founded by student survivors of the 2018 massacre at a Parkland, Florida, high school, said it has planned more than 450 concentrations for Saturdayincluding in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
In Washington, hundreds of people poured steadily onto the National Mall near the Washington Monument in light rain.
The organization’s 2018 march on Washington, weeks after the deaths of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, brought hundreds of thousands of people to the nation’s capital to pressure Congress for legislative action, though Republican opposition has prevented any new gun limits from passing the US Senate.
The president of United States, Joe BidenDemocrat, earlier this month urged Congress to ban assault weapons, expand background checks and implement other gun control measures, said he supported Saturday’s protests.
Today, young people around the country once again march with @AMarch4OurLives to call on Congress to pass commonsense gun safety legislation supported by the majority of Americans and gun owners.
I join them by repeating my call to Congress: do something.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 11, 2022
“Today, young people across the country are once again marching with @AMarch4OurLives to call on Congress to pass common sense gun safety legislation supported by most Americans and gun owners,” Biden said in a message. from Twitter.
“I join them in repeating my appeal to Congress: do something”.
Courtney Haggertya 41-year-old research librarian from Lawrenceville, New Jersey, traveled to Washington for the rally with her 10-year-old daughter, Cate, and 7-year-old son, Graeme, to demand action from Congress.
Haggerty said the December 2012 school shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in which a gunman killed 26 people, most of them six- and seven-year-old children, one day after his daughter’s first birthday.
“It left me raw,” he acknowledged. “I can’t believe I’m going to be 11 years old and we’re still doing this.”
Cate, who is in fourth grade, said she wanted to attend. “This is not what I would like my children to have to live through,” she said.
PRESSURE ON POLITICIANS
This year’s event in Washington has a simple message for political leaders, according to organizers: Your inaction is killing Americans.
“We are not going to allow them to continue sitting while people continue to die,” he explained. Trevon Bosleya member of the MFOL board of directors, in an emailed statement.
An armed man in Uvalde, Texas, killed 19 children and two teachers on May 2410 days after another gunman killed 10 black people in a grocery store in Buffalo (New York) in a racist attack.
Recent mass shootings have added a new urgency to the country’s ongoing debate on gun violencealthough the prospects for federal legislation remain uncertain.
Among other policies, the MFOL has called for a ban on assault weapons, universal background checks on those trying to buy guns and a national licensing system, which would register gun owners.
In the last weeks, a bipartisan group of Senate negotiators has promised to reach an agreement, although they have not yet achieved it. His efforts focus on relatively modest changes, such as encouraging states to pass “red flag” laws that allow authorities to withhold weapons from individuals considered a danger to others.
The Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives passed a sweeping set of gun safety measures on Wednesday, but the legislation has no chance of advancing in the Senatewhere Republicans have opposed gun limits as violating the right of the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States to bear arms.
Speakers at the Washington rally will include David Hog Y X GonzalezParkland survivors and co-founders of MFOL; Becky Pringle and Randi Weingarten, presidents of the two largest teachers’ unions in the United States; Y Yolanda Kinggranddaughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.. MFOL members have spent the week meeting with lawmakers in Washington to discuss gun violence.
Organizers expect there to be counter-protesters in the marches, but at noon (local time) in Washington, still none had arrived.
Jamie Leea 24-year-old pollster in Washington, explained that she was living in Florida at the time of the Parkland shooting.
“This keeps happening and nothing is done”, said. “We have to take better care of our children in our schools. And that doesn’t mean more police, it means more counselors and more investment put into our students.”