Hundreds March Across Brooklyn Bridge in an Anti-Gun Rally, Because Moms Have Had Enough
Following a truly tragic month of mass shootings in the U.S., nearly a thousand people marched across Brooklyn Bridge Saturday to protest gun laws and call for greater firearm control. Hundreds of activists gathered in downtown Brooklyn and made their way to City Hall, in a march largely subsidized by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Some of those present were the relatives of victims from massacres of years past, such as the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
The protest is the second such annual march to end gun violence, and was organized in large part by Moms Demand Action, Everytown For Gun Safety and Mayors Against Illegal Guns. But it has all the more potency in the wake of the recent peak in gun violence — this last month alone has seen nine school shootings. A heartbreaking report released earlier this week found that there have been 74 school shootings in the U.S. since Sandy Hook — that's over one shooting per school week. It's become, as President Obama recently said, "the norm," so much so that bullet-proof blankets are now a must-have for schools.
Though neither Bloomberg nor current mayor Bill de Blasio reportedly attended the rally, Amanda Peet and Erica Lafferty (the daughter of the Sandy Hook Elementary principal) were there, calling for common-sense reforms to the nation's current gun laws. Said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, in a press release:
“Today’s event showcased the resilience and dedication of our moms and advocates to end gun violence in this country. Turn out for today’s event surpassed our numbers from last year’s, which is yet another indication of the groundswell that is the grassroots power of moms. It’s been eighteen months since the tragedy at Newtown and if the gun lobby thinks we’re going away, today’s crowd is evidence that they are sorely mistaken.”
On Friday, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal, Chris Murphy, and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty made their own attempt to address the nation's gun problem: asking the President and CEO of the National Retail Federation to institute anti-gun policies at stores across the U.S. Whether this will happen, or make a difference, remains to be seen.