The Washington Post reports, March for Our Lives returns to D.C. to rally for gun control (excerpt):
The rally Saturday will begin at Noon (ET) near the Washington Monument, and organizers expect upward of 50,000 people, according to a permit issued by the National Park Service. There will be hundreds of sister marches and events across the country. (See Events listed on the blog for Arizona rallies).
Large crowds are also expected this weekend in D.C. to celebrate Pride, including the Capital Pride Parade scheduled to start near 14th and T streets NW at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Leaders of March for Our Lives have spent the days leading up to Saturday’s rally in more than 60 meetings on Capitol Hill, talking with lawmakers and their staff about the need for aggressive actions, such asuniversal background checks, said Elena Perez, 21, who is studying at Rutgers University at Newark.
“A lot of us would have loved to [have] enjoyed summer and gone out with our friends, but right now we’re at a point where we realize us being together and us being united is so powerful and can really make change,” Perez said. “This time we are seeing real negotiations. The work is being done. At the same time, I am a little scared we won’t see any change.”
The House on Wednesday passed legislation that would raise the minimum age for the purchase of most semiautomatic rifles to 21 and ban high-capacity ammunition magazines, among other gun-control measures, just hours after a committee heard testimony from a young survivor of the Uvalde shooting. However, that vote is unlikely to amount to much because of Senate Republican opposition to substantial new gun restrictions.
Speakers at Saturday’s protest will include March for Our Lives co-founders David Hogg and X González, who survived the Parkland massacre; the son of a victim in the recent Buffalo supermarket shooting; Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.); Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers; and Yolanda King, the granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr., according to a news release.
After the Parkland shooting, in which a gunman killed 14 students and three staff members, the teenage survivors sparked a political movement to demand an end to school shootings and everyday gun violence. Hundreds of thousands of people joined the first March for Our Lives protests in D.C. and in cities across the country in 2018, students became activists and parents launched nonprofit organizations, lobbied lawmakers and ran for local school boards.
Still, [just] since the Parkland shooting, more than 115,000 students have been exposed to gun violence on K-12 campuses during regular hours, according to a Washington Post database.
While Democrats took control of the White House, Senate and House in 2020, no federal gun-control legislation has been passed. The House passed two bills last year dealing with federal background checks, but neither has come to a vote in the Senate because of GOP opposition – and the Senate filbuster rule.
The Senate filibuster rule is more precious to them than the lives of innocent young children being slaughtered in classrooms by deranged gunmen with easy access to weapons of war.
In March, survivors of the Parkland shooting and others who had lost family and friends to shootings returned to D.C. with a grim message. They placed more than 1,100 body bags on the National Mall to spell out “THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS,” a condolence invoked after mass shootings that activists decry as hollow, as more people continue to die.
Organizers said survivors of Parkland and other mass shootings who plan to rally Saturday in D.C. hope thousands of people join them to push lawmakers to act quickly and aggressively to address gun violence.
“We’re still here, we still care about this issue and we’re not going to back down,” said Matthew Hogenmiller, 20, who is digital manager for March for Our Lives and a student at Arizona State University. “I want to be the generation that ends this … because I want no one else to have to go through it.”