Austinites call for action on gun control at March For Our Lives

Students as young as young as fifth grade attended the march to voice their first-hand concerns with gun safety in school. 

On Saturday March 24, over 20,000 people gathered at City Hall and marched to the Capitol to protest Congress’ gun safety laws. The Austin march was the largest in the state of Texas, and one of the larger marches in the 800+ official sister events worldwide for national March For Our Lives day.

The March For Our Lives was called for by the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, to protest Congressmen and women being bought by the NRA and blocking common-sense gun safety laws.

After arriving at the Capitol, speakers such as mayor Steve Adler, Texas state legislator Gina Hinajosa, Parkland survivor Jack Haimowitz, and Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey spoke about the necessity of universal gun safety laws in the country.

“All of us today eat, sleep and breathe determination and now I know it isn’t just my town doing it but my country as well,” said Haimowitz. “Our voices were made to be heard and when ears begin to close, the shouts must only begin to grow louder.”

Counter-protesters were prominent at the event, some armed, but due to ay strong Austin Police Department presence no one was aggravated or assaulted.The APD had officers attend to prevent counter-protesters from taking violent action against the marchers, and numerous explosive ordnance disposal dogs swept the area, ensuring the safety of all in attendance.

“I know a lot of people were anxious about coming together in a public forum like this, that coming together might put them in danger. People worried that a crowd like this in the open would make us an inviting target,” said Adler. “But, it is important to keep in mind that this is how a lot of kids feel about going to school after a school shooting.”

McConaughey, a texas native, turned his attention to gun control as well during the event.

“This is an American issue. It’s a Texan issue. It’s a legal and law-abiding gun owner issue. It’s a mother issue. It’s a father issue. And, quite literally, this is our children’s issue,” said McConaughey.

McConaughey called for banning assault weapons for civilians, banning high-capacity magazines and closing loopholes in the current background check system. “Those are the three main stipulations, and for those three, I can say —and you can say it with me — alright, alright, alright.”

March For Our Lives event organizers encouraged those interested in fighting for ”common sense gun legislation,” to call to contact their local representative and voice their concerns about gun safety in their schools.