1,100 Body Bags Line National Mall For Action to Curb Gun Violence (photos)

Over 1100 black “body bags” fanned out over a section of grass on the National Mall in Washington D.C. on March 24 in a plea for sanity. Each represented roughly 150 individuals who have died from gun violence since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14, 2018 which left 17 people dead and 17 more injured – most of the victims in their teens.

The body bags were placed to spell out the words “THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS” and were directed toward members of Congress of both parties for their reluctance to pass meaningful gun control measures. The phrase “thoughts and prayers” is often used by government officials as an expression of condolence following a mass shooting. Many Gun control activists have deemed it a meaningless gesture.

It was the 4-year anniversary of the original “March For Our Lives” protest march in D.C. —  the largest single day of protest against gun violence ever. The young organizers of the 2018 March led by Parkland survivor David Hogg were behind the current display.

On the Mall we talked to one of the organizers, Daud Mumin, a co-chairman of the board of directors at March For Our Lives:

Georgetowner: Why is it important for you to protest this way?

Mumin: “Because it shows the harrowing and pervasive reality of gun violence. These 1,100 body bags represent 170,000 Americans who have lost their lives. To me, that’s unacceptable. And it should be unacceptable to the people behind us in this building that for the past four years have taken negligible action on really curbing the epidemic of gun violence in this country.”

Georgetowner: I see you’re here in front of the Capitol. What do you hope will get done?

Mumin: “We hope that Senator Chuck Schumer calls ‘universal background checks’ to a vote on the Senate floor and really puts his back into ensuring that it has the support it needs to really pass. Over 90 percent of Americans support this initiative. We’re looking for the president to ensure that he provides a comprehensive gun violence prevention plan [and] that he appoints a gun violence prevention director to really push this work forward, because it’s a really serious issue that requires serious investment and staffing and personnel to move it forward. And the last thing we’re really looking to do is ensuring that we have partners in this work. Four years ago, we came out in record numbers to vote for people in the midterms that promised us gun violence solutions. Two years later, we came out in literally record-breaking numbers, young people, to vote for the president and to vote for members of Congress. It’s time they make good on those promises. And we’re here to remind them we’re still waiting.”

Click below for a slideshow of our photos from the March for Our Lives demonstration on the National Mall.






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