Gun control advocates rallied across the U.S. this weekend to demand legislative action from Congress.
The Recess Rallies, which are happening while Congress is in recess, were held in the wake of two high-profile mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH. They were scheduled in more than 100 locations in all 50 states on both Saturday and Sunday.
The effort was organized in conjunction with a nationwide Weekend of Action held by the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and Students Demand Action. Advocates are rallying for background checks on all gun sales and strong extreme risk or Red Flag legislation, which would “temporarily prevent someone in crisis from accessing firearms,” especially if they pose a danger to themselves or others.
Protesters across the country, including Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Baltimore, turned out to call for change. Presidential hopeful and El Paso native Beto O’Rourke made a stop on the campaign trail in Little Rock, AR, local affiliate KATV reported, to join the rally and call for tougher gun laws.
Every day 100 Americans die and hundreds more are wounded by senseless and preventable gun violence.— A_Tully (@ahtull) August 18, 2019
Today I'm at a #RecessRally in Boston, MA with my @MomsDemand friends to demand the Senate pass a background checks on all gun sales.@Everytown pic.twitter.com/3i1ADIzZI1
Thank you to our incredible CA gun sense champions @Portantino and @ASMGabriel for your support at the student-led Students Demand Action #RecessRally on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall to demand federal action on background checks and red flags @Everytown @MomsDemand pic.twitter.com/gAdED5iUTg— Laura A. (@lauraladida) August 17, 2019
There are rallies across the country today organized by @MomsDemand and @Everytown demanding that the U.S. Senate pass legislation to require background checks on all gun sales along with a Red Flag law. A march in Baltimore just started. pic.twitter.com/qV1lYEvghS— Kyle Stewart (@KyleAlexStewart) August 17, 2019
Everytown is calling gun violence a “public health epidemic,” and reports that 100 Americans are shot and killed every day and hundreds more are wounded. The rallies yet again brought some sobering statistics to light. According to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tracks data related to guns and gun-related violence, there have been more mass shooting incidents than days this year — as of publication, the archive reports that 261 confirmed mass shootings have occurred in the U.S. in 2019.
But gun deaths are not limited to the shootings that make national headlines, the Pew Research Center writes. In 2017, the most recent year with complete data available, nearly 40,000 people died from gun-related injuries. Six out of 10 of those deaths were suicides, while the rest were murders, involved law enforcement, were unintentional, or had unintended consequences.
Everytown also announced a million-dollar digital and TV ad campaign aimed at Republican Senators during Congress’ ongoing August recess.
“The American people want action on gun violence, and we’re saying so in a voice loud enough for every senator to hear,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We’re unleashing the full power of our grassroots movement and leading our most aggressive August spending effort ever, to ensure the Senate gets the message and passes background checks and a strong federal ‘Red Flag’ law.”
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