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News ID: 103587
Publish Date : 12 June 2022 - 21:51
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of demonstrators descended on Washington and at hundreds of rallies across the United States on Saturday to demand that lawmakers pass legislation aimed at curbing gun violence following last month’s massacre at a Texas elementary school.
In the nation’s capital, organizers with March for Our Lives (MFOL) estimated that 40,000 people assembled at the National Mall near the Washington Monument under occasional light rain. The gun safety group was founded by student survivors of the 2018 massacre at a Parkland, Florida, high school.
Courtney Haggerty, a 41-year-old research librarian from Lawrenceville, New Jersey, travelled to Washington with her 10-year-old daughter, Cate, and 7-year-old son, Graeme.
Haggerty said the December 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, when a gunman killed 26 people, mostly six- and seven-year-olds, came one day after her daughter’s first birthday.
A gunman in Uvalde, Texas, killed 19 children and two teachers on May 24, 10 days after another gunman murdered 10 Black people in a Buffalo, New York, grocery store in a racist attack.
The shootings have added new urgency to the country’s ongoing debate over gun violence, though the prospects for federal legislation remain uncertain given staunch Republican opposition to any limits on firearms.
In recent weeks, a bipartisan group of Senate negotiators have vowed to hammer out a deal, though they have yet to reach an agreement. Their effort is focused on relatively modest changes, such as incentivizing states to pass “red flag” laws that allow authorities to keep guns from individuals deemed dangerous.
The U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat who earlier this month urged Congress to ban assault weapons, expand background checks and implement other measures, said he supported Saturday’s protests.
The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a sweeping set of gun safety measures, but the legislation has no chance of advancing in the Senate, where Republicans view gun limits as infringing upon the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment right to bear arms.

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