Texas Gun Rally draws varied speakers

Hilltop Views

Hilltop Views

City council member Mike Martinez, announced and named April 6th as Texas Gun Sense Day at the Texas Rally for Gun Sense, held at the Texas capitol.

Hundreds flocked to the April 6 event, put on by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the Texas Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and Texas Gun Sense.

“The rally was not exactly what I had expected. I have been to other rallies at the capitol that were many times larger in attendance and support,”  senior Maddie Freeman said.  “I felt that either many in Texas do not know about the organization Texas Gun Sense or Moms Demand Action, or do not support their missions.”

The rally had numerous speakers, such as Kathy Staats, an EMT and first responder at Virginia Tech; Hilary Rand, the Texas Regional Lead for Moms Demand Action; John Woods, the spokesman for Texas Gun Sense, whose girlfriend was killed at Virginia Tech; and Austin’s Police Chief Art Acevedo.

“For so many of us here today, Newtown was a turning point… I’ve never felt so personally affected as I did on December 14th and I haven’t been able to go back to life as usual,” Rand said. “It’s too easy for me to imagine being one of those moms outside of the firehouse and it’s still too easy to imagine my first grade daughter and her beautiful innocent classmates being those children.”

Freeman’s favorite speaker was Woods.

“Now an outspoken member of Texas Gun Sense, Woods is extremely passionate about keeping guns off college campuses and exhibits the mission behind their organization through his belief that campus safety is something that is best handled by police chiefs and administrators,” said Freeman.

Freeman attended the event because she takes a more anti-gun stance and wanted to hear Woods speak. But she also attended the rally as a civic engagement activity for her St. Edward’s Capstone class.

At the rally, many of the speakers focused on the fact that eight children die a day from gun violence.

“An average days in America sees 33 slain by guns, eight of them children. The U.S. logs more than 30,000 guns deaths a year, a staggering figure that surpasses other developed countries twenty-times over,” said Rand.

The tone of the rally was sad, but determined. Numerous people donned signs stating many different things, such as “Sandy Hook We Will Never Forget” and “Moms Vote for Safe Gun Laws.”

A man holding a “Stop Gun Bans” sign showed up at the rally. This sparked a fight between those who were attending the event for gun sense versus the guy who was promoting gun rights. The fight was only with words, but Sheriffs descended throughout the event and stood guard throughout the rest of the event.

“The rally made me feel a little sad in response to many of the speakers’ heart-felt stories as most lost loved ones by the hands of guns. However, it also encouraged me to continue to follow this debate even after I have finished my Capstone project,” Freeman said.