In Las Vegas’ Wake, Gun Violence Activists Mass in Manhattan

GAYS Against Guns (GAG) post Las Vegas Massacre rally. From Union Square to Times Square
Several hundred activists affiliated with Gays Against Guns marched from Union Square to Times Square one evening after the shooting mass murders in Las Vegas. Photo by Donna Aceto.

BY DONNA ACETO | Gays Against Guns was formed in June 2016 in the wake of what was then the most lethal mass shooting in modern American history — the murder that month of 49 people and wounding of another 58 in an Orlando gay nightclub holding its weekly Latinx night. On October 2, several hundred activists affiliated with the group took to the streets in Manhattan to mark the sad fact that the Orlando massacre’s record had been broken, with the tragic murder of 58 concertgoers and wounding of nearly 500 others in Las Vegas the night before.

Gays Against Guns demonstrators in Times Square. Photo by Donna Aceto.

The Gays Against Guns contingent met at Union Square at 6 p.m., and a half hour later began marching up Broadway to Times Square, where the demonstrators rallied at the Red Staircase.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Ken Kidd, a Gays Against Guns activist. Photo by Donna Aceto.

The day before, as the Las Vegas concertgoers looked forward to what they thought would be an evening of outdoor music and fun, Gays Against Guns traveled by van to a gun show in Pennsylvania hoping to engage strong Second Amendment boosters on the facts of gun violence and the solutions before the American people. According to the group, it is the only gun violence group that has engaged those on the other side in this kind of direct dialogue that it acknowledges “can be uncomfortable at times.” But, the group insists, “this is what must happen if we want to change minds and save lives.”

The demonstrators in Times Square. Photo by Donna Aceto.

Gays Against Guns meets next at the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St., on Thurs., Oct. 5 from 7-9 p.m. — Additional reporting by Paul Schindler

Public Advocate Letitia James. Photo by Donna Aceto.
Kimberly Russell, an organizer of the Jan. 21 Women’s March in Washington held in response to Donald Trump’s inauguration, addresses the crowd in Times Square. Photo by Donna Aceto.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Public Advocate Letitia James, and veiled Gays Against Guns protesters representing those killed by gun violence. Photo by Donna Aceto.
A sign that undoubtedly captured the feelings of many Americans this week. Photo by Donna Aceto.