President Biden encourages activists to ‘keep marching’, urges Congress to ‘do something’
Multiple rallies against gun violence were held in Washington, New York, and dozens of other US cities on Saturday, with activists piling on pressure on lawmakers to tighten gun control laws in the wake of several deadly mass shootings.
The largest ‘March for Our Lives’ protest was held at the Washington Monument in DC, even though the estimated crowd of 30,000 was smaller than the organizers expected to gather following two high-profile shootings that shook the nation last month.
Numerous high-profile speakers, activists, and victims of mass shootings, and other gun violence, spoke at the DC event, pleading for US lawmakers to protect American children.
“If our government can’t do anything to stop 19 kids from being killed and slaughtered in their own school, and decapitated, it’s time to change who is in government,”David Hogg was a survivor from the Parkland school shooting of 2018. A father of another Parkland victim urged students to boycott school “until our elected leaders stop avoiding the crisis of gun violence in America and start acting to save our lives.”
Four years after the first March for Our Lives, there was the second March for Our Lives at the National Mall. Thousands were present under the Washington Monument. David Hogg: All Americans have the right not to be shot and a right of safety. pic.twitter.com/MHirplU49l
— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) June 11, 2022
And while Martin Luther King Jr’s granddaughter said in DC that the issue of gun violence “isn’t about politics,”The US President Joe Biden, who sent an apparent opposite message to California from California, encouraged the activists. “keep marching”So long as the gun control opponents are defeated.
Keep marching – it’s important… This has to become an election issue.
Today’s young people in the United States marched with @AMarch4OurLivesTo call upon Congress to adopt commonsense gun safety legislation that is supported by most Americans and gun owners. Join them in urging Congress to pass commonsense gun safety legislation that is supported by the majority of Americans and gun owners.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 11, 2022
In New York City, protesters marched over the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan’s City Hall, numbering in ‘hundreds’ or ‘more than 1,000’, according to various media estimates.
It is now that we can stop violence from flowing into our cities and protect our children’s lives. Don’t wait for tomorrow. I’m proud to have stood with these young people today to say enough is enough. #MarchForOurLivespic.twitter.com/mlI1xAsCQk
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) June 11, 2022
The ‘March for Our Lives’ organizers said they were focused on holding numerous smaller marches in at least 300 locations all across the nation, rather than trying to beat the record attendance numbers of their 2018 protest.
A nationwide protest is being held against gun violence in response to the shooting massacres that took place at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde (Texas) on May 24th, which saw 19 victims and two teachers killed. Also, there was a mass shooting at Buffalo’s Supermarket on May 14th, which left 10 dead. Both of these cases involved 18-year old males, who just purchased guns. “assault-style”Recurrent calls for age limitations and bans on rifles have prompted renewed concern about these firearms.
The US House of Representative approved several gun control measures earlier this week. They were overwhelmingly voted for by party lines. These included raising the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic guns and establishing federal firearms regulations. “red flag” laws. Although the bill is unlikely to be passed in the Senate’s current form, Democrats have more ammunition than ever to attack their political enemies ahead of the November midterms.
Recent opinions polls have shown that people are still most worried about the US’ economic state and the rising cost of living. However, the issue of abortion and gun violence are becoming more significant drivers of voter turnout. Many political analysts expect that Democrats will experience serious losses during the November midterm election, which would cost the party majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.