March for Our Lives Returns to D.C. to Demand Action to End Gun Violence (photos)


Demands for Congressional action for tougher gun control measures echoed across the country on June 11 as demonstrators took to the streets in more than 400 cities in nearly every state.

An explosion of gun violence and mass shootings have added new urgency to the national debate over gun safety. A 18-year-old gunman in Uvalde, Texas, using an assault rifle, killed 19 children aged 7-10, and two teachers on May 24 just 10 days after another gunman using a similar weapon killed 10 Black people in a Buffalo, New York, grocery store in a racist attack. These were but two of the more than 200 mass shootings, an average of more than one a day, to have been recorded in the United States so far this year. 

One of the largest of these rallies on Saturday took place in Washington, D.C., in the shadow of the Washington Monument where an estimated 40,000 showed up on a rainy day. Only a few feet away stood a temporary memorial consisting of over 45,000 flower vases each representing a victim of gun violence in the past year.

The rallies were organized by March for Our Lives (MFOL), the gun safety group founded by student survivors of the 2018 massacre at a Parkland, Florida, high school. The first MFOL took place in Washington, D.C., on March 24, 2018 with satellite events around the country. Turnout then was estimated to be between 1.2 and 2 million people in the United States making it one of the largest protests in American history — but the hoped-for reforms were never acted upon in the face of stiff opposition primarily by the National Rifle Association, gun manufacturers and Republican lawmakers.

View a slideshow of Jeff Malet’s focus on some of the powerful protest signs at this June 11 event on the Mall by clicking on the photo icons below.

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