Over 450 cities and millions of people participated in “March For Our Lives,” demanding sensible gun laws to stop the carnage of children and adults in the United States.
In Atlanta, hundreds marched from the King Center to Woodruff Park to demand Congress take action on gun violence.
“We’ve been doing active shooter drills since before we could read,” Sarah Dowling, a 17-year-old organizer of the march, said.
“Gun violence is a part of a system of white supremacy, racism, misogyny, and all the ism and oppressive forces in our society that fuel the rage that is burning down what’s left of our democracy,” Dowling said.
Congresswoman Lucy McBath, (D-6th District) ran for office after her son, Jordan, was murdered for playing music loud at a gas station in Florida. She promised to spend the rest of her life fighting gun violence and has kept that promise.
“We are here today to advocate for nationwide reform to end our reckless gun laws that have taken the lives of thousands of Americans. ….We are heartbroken by the deafness of those in Congress who look away even after they took an oath to serve and protect us,” Rep. McBath said.
Rep. McBath’s “Red Flag Bill” to keep weapons away from individuals at risk passed the House, and also the “Protecting Our Kids Act” passed this week, now these bills go to the Senate, where ten Republicans need to vote yes for them to become law.
The majority of people all over the nation are demanding that AR-15 assault weapons of war be banned, the age to buy a gun raised to 21, universal background checks, and red flag laws be enacted.
AR-15s were used to kill people in Uvalde, Buffalo, Boulder, Orlando, Parkland, Las Vegas, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Waffle house, San Bernardino, Midland/Odessa, Poway Synagogue, Sutherland Springs, and the Tree of Life Synagogue.
The Gun Violence Archives has counted 246 mass shootings in the U.S. so far in 2022. According to the Archive, more than 18,800 people will have died due to gun violence overall in 2022.
Republicans in Georgia and other red states pass permissive gun laws and claim, “More guns will make us safer.” The statistics show this is not true, as mass shooting continue to increase at an alarming rate. More guns have created a bloody slaughter of children and adults in the U.S.
Republicans also claim, “More good guys with guns will protect us from a bad guy with a gun.” This logic is also B.S., as we saw in Uvalde when numerous officers stood outside with guns for an hour while children in Robb Elementary School bled to death from AR-15 wounds.
Miah Cerrillo, an 11-year-old girl, told lawmakers in a video that she survived the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde by covering herself with blood from dead classmates and pretending to be dead. Other children were blown into so many pieces they could not be recognized while the AR-15 decapitated others.
Amid all this bloodshed, some Republicans in Congress make the ridiculous claim they need AR-15s to protect themselves against feral hogs, prairie dogs, and chicken-eating raccoons.
“I see politicians making excuses and sending thoughts and prayers instead of [passing sensible gun] legislation. I have a message for those that pushed the bill that will take effect July 1, because in Georgia you are not safe… you will walk into all manner of buildings and folks will have guns,” Gerald Griggs, State President of the NAACP, said.
Griggs is talking about Senate Bill 319, “Constitutional Carry,” which makes it legal for Georgia gun owners to carry a concealed handgun in public without a license or background check. It also gives concealed weapons permit holders from other states the ability to carry legally in Georgia.
“We call on elected officials in Washington and Georgia to craft common-sense gun regulations to protect our children. We demand background checks and a ban on AR-15s, and for you to prioritize people over bullets.”
“The gun lobby can pour millions into your coffers, but we will pour millions of Georgians to the ballot box. Most Georgians understand the need to protect their children from gun violence,” Griggs said.
Ted Cruz (R-TX) said the problem at the elementary school in Uvalde was the doors. “When I hear them talk about doors, I think about the GOP people who will not move on gun reform to protect our children. All I have to say to them is don’t let the door hit you in the a$$ on the way out,” Senator Jen Jordan (D-district 6) said. Senator Jordan is running for Attorney General in Georgia.
The openly racist and sexist Trump Republicans fear losing male domination, class privilege, and white people being replaced by people of color. This fear fuels all these repressive laws, from voting suppression laws, and laws to control women’s reproductive rights, to excessive unsafe gun laws to make Republicans feel safe and in a position of control and power over others. The others are women, Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, Asians, LGBTQ, and other vulnerable communities.
If we want to keep democracy and save ourselves and our children from gun violence, we must turn out to vote these Trump-inspired Republicans out of power.
Photos and written by Gloria Tatum