Thousands Rally in Nationwide Protests Against Gun Violence

Organizers of March for Our Lives say there were about 450 planned demonstrations for Saturday. The rallies took place in cities like NYC, Detroit, LA, and D.C.

March for Our Lives protests 2022

Image via Getty/Tasos Katopodis

March for Our Lives protests 2022

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets on Saturday for the annual March for Our Lives rally, a nationwide protest against gun violence.

The non-profit group, founded by survivors of the 2018 Parkland shooting, told NBC News there were about 450 rallies planned across the United States, including in cities like Chicago; Los Angeles; NYC; Detroit; and Washington, D.C. The demonstrations come amid renewed calls for tighter gun control measures, as the nation continues reeling from a series of mass shootings.

On May 14, an 18-year-old gunman entered a Buffalo, New York, supermarket and opened fire in what authorities have called a “racially motivated hate crime.” Just 10 days later, another 18-year-old man gained access to a fourth-grade classroom in Uvalde, Texas, where he fatally shot 19 children and two adults. According to data published by the Gun Violence Archive, the country has experienced 254 mass shootings since the beginning of the year.

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— The Gun Violence Archive (@GunDeaths) June 10, 2022

Serena Rodrigues, a national coordinator for March for Our Lives, said the organization has spent the past week on Capitol Hill, demanding legislators to take action against gun violence. The group and other gun control advocates are seeking controversial policy changes, such as expanding universal background checks, banning assault rifles, and raising the minimum age to purchase a firearm.

“I feel confident that we’ll get something probably like universal background checks. But we’ll keep pushing for more,” she said. “We’re coming out of COVID and people are trying to go back to normal, get back into schools and into work, but I think as a society right now, we’re realizing that this is not the normal we want to go back to.”

President Joe Biden expressed his support for gun reform during a primetime address earlier this month; however, he received backlash short after, when he announced he had no plans to sign a gun control executive order.

“Can’t you issue an executive order?” Jimmy Kimmel asked POTUS during a recent Jimmy Kimmel Live! episode. “Trump passed those out like Halloween candy.”

“I have issued executive orders within the power of the presidency to be able to deal with everything having to do with guns, gun ownership, whether or not you have to have a waiting period. All the things that are within my power,” Biden said. “I don’t want to emulate Trump’s abuse of the Constitution and constitutional authority. I mean that sincerely, because I often get asked — ‘Look, the Republicans don’t play it square, why do you play it square?’ Well, guess what? If we do the same thing they do, our democracy will literally be in jeopardy.”

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