‘March for Our Lives’ returns with new gun control push

Angered by the continuing death toll from gun violence, thousands of people are expected to turn up at rallies this weekend in the nation’s capital and the United States, demanding that Congress make meaningful changes to gun laws.

The second “March for Our Lives” rally will take place in front of the Washington Monument on Saturday as a successor to the 2018 march organized by student protesters following a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

Now with the recent shootings from Uvalde, Texas to Buffalo, New York, bringing gun control back into the national conversation, organizers of this weekend’s events say the time is right to renew their push for a national overhaul. Is.

“Right now we’re angry,” said Maria Cooley, a “March for Our Lives” board member and a senior at Howard University in Washington. “It will be a demonstration to show that we, as Americans, will not stop anytime soon unless Congress does its job. And if not, we will vote for them.”

FILE - Looking west, people fill Pennsylvania Avenue "march for our lives" A rally in support of gun control in Washington on March 24, 2018.

FILE – Looking west, people fill Pennsylvania Avenue during a “March for Our Lives” rally in support of gun control on March 24, 2018 in Washington.

With rain in the forecast, about 50,000 participants are expected to arrive in the District of Columbia. That’s far less than the original march, which filled downtown Washington with more than 200,000 people. This time around, the organizers are focusing on holding smaller marches at an estimated 300 locations.

“We want to make sure this work is happening across the country,” said Daud Moomin, co-chair of the March Board of Directors and a recent graduate of Westminster College in Salt Lake City. “This job isn’t just about DC, it’s not just about the senators.”

The protest comes at a critical moment for renewed political activity on guns and potential action in Congress.

Survivors of mass shootings and other incidents of gun violence lobbied for legislators and testified on Capitol Hill this week. Among them was 11-year-old Mia Cerillo, who narrowly escaped the shooting at Rob’s Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. He told lawmakers how he covered himself with the blood of a dead classmate to avoid being shot.

On Tuesday, actor Matthew McConaughey appeared in the White House briefing room to press for gun legislation and made highly personal remarks about the violence in his hometown of Uvalde.

The House has passed bills that would raise the age limit for purchasing semi-automatic weapons and establish federal “red-flag” laws. But such initiatives have traditionally stalled or been overwhelming in the Senate. Democratic and Republican senators expected to reach agreement this week on a framework to address the issue and spoke on Friday, but did not announce a deal until evening.

Moomin referred to the Senate as “where real action goes to die” and said the new march is meant to send a message to lawmakers that public opinion on gun control is shifting beneath their feet. “If they’re not on our side, there are going to be consequences – kicking them out of the office and making their lives hell when they’re in the office,” he said.

The “March for Our Lives” movement was born out of the massacre that occurred when 14 students and three staff members were shot dead by a former student at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on February 14, 2018. . Surviving students organized bus tours to the state capital to lobby in person, and they pressure the Republican-dominated state government to reduce the National Rifle Association’s influence and take adequate measures to target gun violence. Succeeded in putting

Then-Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, signed legislation banning bump stock, raising the gun buying age to 21, imposing a three-day waiting period for purchases, and authorizing the police to take court orders. To seize the guns considered a threat to themselves and others. ,

David Hogg, third from right, Parkland school shooting survivor and co-founder "march for our lives," Marco Rubio speaks during a rally outside the Miami office of Sen. Marco Rubio, who called for gun reform in Miami, on June 3, 2022.

David Hogg, third from right, Parkland school shooting survivor and “March for Our Lives” co-founder, stops when he speaks during a rally outside Sen. Marco Rubio’s Miami office in Miami, calling for gun reform , June 3, 2022.

Parkland students then took aim at gun laws in other states and nationally, starting a “March for Our Lives” and holding a large rally in Washington on March 24, 2018.

The group did not match Florida’s results nationally, but has since continued to advocate for gun restrictions as well as participate in voter registration campaigns.

Co-founder David Hogg, one of the group’s highest-profile activists, said in a tweet Friday that he believes “this time is different,” pointing to his opinion on Fox News.

He wrote that his group is not “anti-gun” and supports the Second Amendment, but wants measures with bipartisan support. “Let’s start there and find common ground to act, because the next shooter is already planning his attack,” he said.

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