Protests in US call for tighter controls on firearms
Thousands of people took to the streets of several cities across the United States on Saturday, 11, to demonstrate in favor of stricter enforcement of the sale and possession of firearms after the recent massacres, including the one in a school in Texas that shocked the world. country.
“I join them in reiterating my appeal to Congress: do something,” US President Joe Biden wrote on his Twitter account in support of planned protests in Washington and many other cities.
On May 24, an 18-year-old student killed 19 students and two teachers after breaking into an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, near the Mexican border, with a semi-automatic assault rifle. A few days earlier, a white supremacist of the same age had murdered ten blacks in Buffalo, in the northeastern United States.
These latest massacres, and the countless shootings that do not make the headlines, have sparked new calls to unite to demand better legislation on access to firearms.
“It’s time to get back on the streets,” urges the ‘March for Our Lives’, a movement founded by victims and survivors of the Parkland High School massacre in Florida (southeast), which had already organized a massive demonstration in Washington in March 2019. 2018
On Saturday, the first hundreds of protesters arrived at the huge obelisk in the American capital. One of them carried a poster with an assault rifle and “child killer” written in red.
Thousands of vases of white and orange flowers were installed on the lawn in the area, representing the increase in violence in the country since 2020, the year in which 45,222 people were killed by firearms, according to Giffords, the association of origin of this memorial.
Laws of “Common Sense”
“Whoever you are, walk with us,” David Hogg, a leading figure at March for Our Lives, wrote in a Fox News op-ed on Friday.
“If we agree that killing children is unacceptable, then we need to stop these people from having guns in their hands or we need to proactively act so they don’t.”
People “are fed up and it’s time to put pressure on Congress to do something,” the young man added.
Biden, picking up on elements of an impassioned speech he made shortly after the Uvalde school shooting, also called on lawmakers to “pass common sense laws on firearm safety.”
The Democratic president once again listed the reforms he expects from Congress: banning the free sale of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines; strengthen background checks, including psychological, of buyers; require civilians to keep their weapons locked up; encourage reporting in cases of fear of potential actions; and make arms manufacturers more accountable to the state.
“We cannot fail the American people again,” he wrote on Twitter.
Biden repeated his pledge to crack down on gun violence that successive governments have failed to contain.
But in a country where nearly one in three adults owns at least one gun, conservatives are strongly opposed to any move they see as going against the rights of “law-abiding citizens.”
The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to ban the sale of semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines to those under 21, among other things.
The measure has almost no chance of passing the Senate, where it needs the support of 10 conservatives.
At the same time, representatives from both parties are meeting to try to find a compromise text that can garner the necessary majority.