Amid increased incidents of mass shootings in the United States, protestors gathered in Washington DC as well in cities across the country on Saturday to demonstrate against gun violence, reported local media.
The protest organized by “March for Our Lives” comes as a reprise of student-sponsored demonstrations that drew hundreds of thousands of people in 2018, after a 19-year-old gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 and wounding 17 others, according to New York Times report.
The demonstration followed shootings last month that left 10 Black people dead in a Buffalo supermarket and killed 19 schoolchildren and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
“No more,” David Hogg, a March for Our Lives co-founder and a survivor of the Parkland shooting, said on Twitter.
“It’s time democrats, republicans, gun owners, and non-gun owners come together” and start focusing on what they can agree on, he stated continuing the thread, New York Times reported.
The Saturday protests unfolded in hundreds of cities across the country as at a smattering of locations in Europe. At the main protest site, the Washington Monument in the nation’s capital, survivors of mass shootings, teachers’ representatives, civil rights advocates, and elected officials addressed the crowd.
Meanwhile, bipartisan negotiations on legislation regarding mass shootings are underway in the Senate, but Republicans who have blocked such laws for years continue to say that the murders are the result of other problems, such as mental illness or flaws in school security, not the weapons themselves. The Senate talks are said to focus on those claims, as well as on background checks for weapons purchases.
A small group of Republican and Democratic senators has begun an uphill effort to strike a bipartisan gun deal after continuous massacres in New York and Texas. The involvement of Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who has a top rating from the National Rifle Association, means that any possible agreement is likely to include incremental steps, said New York Times.
After parents of victims and survivors of mass shootings made wrenching appeals for Congress to act on gun violence in a hearing on June 8, the House voted nearly along party lines to ban the sale of semiautomatic weapons to people under the age of 21 and of large-capacity magazines. Though the bill passed 223 to 204, it stands no chance of passing in the evenly divided Senate.
However, states are rushing toward new gun restrictions in a hope that Congress will be able to take swift action against gun violence.
At a meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors, Republican and Democratic leaders from over 170 cities across the country voiced their common frustration at the lack of action on gun control.
President Joe Biden last week called for banning semi-automatic, assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines and raising the minimum age to buy those weapons from 18 to 21 amid an increase in mass shooting incidents in the US.