Students Demand Action Volunteers and Gun Violence Survivors Are Available for Interviews; Photos Available
WASHINGTON – On Thursday, Students Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, organized thousands of students to hold walkouts at over 200 schools in at least 34 states across the country and the District of Columbia to call on lawmakers to pass common sense gun safety measures, in the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas — a predominantly Latinx community. The shooting, which killed at least 21 people, including 19 students, comes less than two weeks after a white supremacist targeted a grocery store in a Black neighborhood in Buffalo and shot 13 people, killing 10, as they shopped.
“Schools should not turn into battlefields, but our gun violence crisis has warped these spaces of safety and learning into spaces of fear and bloodshed,” said Roan Thibault, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in California and a member of the Students Demand Action National Advisory Board. “We cannot wait to take action. Today we sent a clear message to our elected officials that the time to act in the interest of our safety is now. We will continue to push for common sense gun safety measures at all levels, so that no more students have to experience the pain and horror of another school shooting.”
“Students are sending a powerful message to lawmakers: they do not feel safe in their schools, and that has to change,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “I am proud to see students across the country taking a stand, speaking out, and walking out, to show our country that the gun violence we see in our classrooms is not normal and not acceptable. As our movement continues to gain unprecedented momentum, their voices are essential to driving meaningful progress in the name of gun safety.”
“Students are walking out of their schools today so they won’t have to be rolled out on a stretcher tomorrow — the truth is that simple, and that grim,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Now it’s time for lawmakers to walk the walk, and pass laws to keep America’s young people — the very future of this nation — safe from preventable tragedies.”
Thursday morning, Everytown, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action gathered with members of Congress, gun violence survivors and hundreds of gun safety supporters and advocates in front of the U.S. Capitol for a rally, demanding action on gun safety in response to the shooting.
Gun violence is the leading cause of death among children and teens in the United States. Prior to Tuesday’s shooting, so far this year, there have been at least 77 incidents of gunfire on school grounds, resulting in 14 deaths and 45 injuries nationally — 6 of these incidents took place in Texas. The shooting took place in a predominantly Latinx community, where systemic inequities across institutions and generations of racial discrimination have exacerbated this public health crisis and create a disproportionate impact.
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