More than three hundred activists took to Times Square Sunday and called on the country’s leaders to push for more gun control laws and measures following two mass shootings this weekend which claimed 29 lives.
The nonprofit group Gays Against Guns led the peaceful demonstration in midtown. Organizers said they were fed up with the empty rhetoric from Washington after every mass casualty incident and want immediate action. Lou Markert, a Gays Against Guns organizer from the Upper West Side, said even in New York, no one is safe while the current laws allow for the proliferation of guns.
“Gun violence is like a virus and anyone can smuggle an AK-47 anywhere,” he said.
Organizers began at the steps of the New York Public Library waving homemade signs that read “Gun violence is preventable” and “NRA sashay away.” One poster listed locations of the most recent mass shooting incidents along with the number of people killed at each. Some of the rally members dressed in white clothing with veils and held a photo of a victim of a mass shooting.
The group marched toward Times Square chanting several sayings including “How many more have to die,” as pedestrians and tourists silently looked on. A few onlookers joined the march.
Virginia Vitzthum, a Gays against Guns volunteer from Midwood, called out President Donald Trump and the congressional leaders who have repeatedly blocked proposals to limit the sale of firearms over the past couple of years. She urged the crowd to continue fighting and cited several examples of change, including New Zealand, which passed gun control measures immediately after a March shooting.
“It is so much easier to fall in despair, but it is so much better to join together,” she said.