Thousands of young people are set to rally in D.C. for gun safety
Thousands of young people are expected to descend on Washington, D.C. on Saturday to encourage Congress to implement stronger gun legislation in the wake of a string of recent horrific shootings. The March for Our Lives will take place less than a month after a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, murdered 19 students and two instructors, and ten Black people were gunned down at a store in Buffalo, New York. On Saturday, similar marches will take place in over 450 places across the United States and around the world.
Yolanda Renee King, the 13-year-old granddaughter of slain civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., who will deliver one of the keynote addresses at this weekend’s Washington event, told The Hill that after several years of marching, and countless murders, teenage activists are furious. After the Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy in Parkland, Fla., in 2018, March for Our Lives was created, attracting more than a million people to its inaugural demonstration in Washington and sister events across the country.
“We’re all coming together because this is unacceptable, and we are demanding that our politicians ban the big rifle assault weapons,” King said. “We have to reduce kids’ anxiety of just going to school and reduce people who look like me’s anxiety to go to the grocery store.”
The marches on Saturday come after the Senate left town on Friday without agreeing on gun control measures in the aftermath of recent high-profile mass killings. Democrats believe they’re “near” to reaching an agreement with Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, who was chosen by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to oversee the GOP’s negotiations, but minor wording discrepancies must be ironed out.
Earlier this week, the House enacted its own form of “red flag” legislation, which permits judges to prevent anyone regarded to pose a danger to themselves or others from possessing firearms. The package will face a tough road in the Senate, where Democrats will need bipartisan backing to achieve the 60-vote threshold required to approve most initiatives.