“It’s a shame that today we’re here honoring Gun Violence Awareness Day when every day is gun violence day across America,” said Sandy Hook Promise Foundation CEO Nicole Hockley.
It’s a fight Newtown knows well. For nearly ten years, many there have fought for gun control legislation on a national level. Now they feel they may finally get it.
Outside Edmond Town Hall on Friday, dozens rallied for gun control legislation, including red flag and safe storage laws, as well as expanded background checks. They encouraged people to continue the fight by talking to lawmakers, talking to voters and voting.
“Columbine was not enough. Virginia Tech was not enough. Sandy Hook was not enough. Parkland was not enough. Will Uvalde be enough?” asked one speaker.
“I’m asking my colleagues to not only heed the call from America, but see what actually can save lives,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
Survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting spoke about the devastation caused by gun violence and the frustration of inaction all these years later.
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“We don’t have to live like this. We are choosing to live like this,” said another speaker.
While marching to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, they said there’s hope this time will be different. They said the shooting in Uvalde shows Sandy Hook was not an anomaly.
Outside the NSSF, they chanted and called for change.
“We need the weight and the power and the advocacy of the American people behind us. This is an epidemic, and there are solutions available to us that not only don’t infringe on anyone’s rights, but protect their rights,” said Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund CEO Mark Barden.
The firearm industry trade association said they’re willing to sit down, talk about the issues and come up with solutions as long as people’s Second Amendment rights are respected.
“We share in their frustrations, and we share in their anger at the recent events that we’ve seen. We want to work together on solutions that we believe will be effective,” said National Shooting Sports Foundation Managing Director of Public Affairs Mark Oliva.