In five days, over 450 marches are planned to take place in D.C., across U.S. cities and internationally
Washington, D.C. – Amidst a surge in mass shootings, including in Buffalo, Uvalde, Tulsa and Philadelphia, Gen-Z is ringing the alarm on this unprecedented wave of violence by demanding federal gun safety legislation and rising up with a simple message: We won’t live like this.
After the deadliest school shooting in a decade claimed 21 lives on May 24th, Congress went on vacation while Americans continued to die from guns. Young organizers, survivors of gun violence, and teachers showed up in their districts—rallying outside of the offices of Texas Senator John Cornyn, Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and others—to force a conversation on common sense solutions to reduce gun violence. During in-district meetings last week, young people urged Congress members to immediately pass Universal Background Checks and Ethan’s Law, and to limit the sale of weapons of war, and raise the age requirement for select gun purchases.
To apply pressure in the week leading up to June 11th and beyond, March For Our Lives activists and survivors have arranged more than 50 bipartisan meetings on Capitol Hill to get these lifesaving laws passed. This moment is different. Fueled by a growing movement of Americans from all backgrounds, politicians are more willing to find common ground and work toward solutions. Real lives are being lost, and real children are suffering, including in their districts.
March For Our Lives will be on the Hill all week to look lawmakers in the eye and get commitments on record to curb this epidemic.
“We are a generation defined by the endless trauma of gun violence,” said Zoe Touray, 18, a survivor of the Oxford High School shooting. “From the countless school shootings, like the one at my high school this past November that left four of my classmates dead, to the everyday gun violence seen in city streets, it is evident that youth bear the brunt of this epidemic. This is far from inevitable. Our elected officials have decided to put party politics before our safety — before our lives. They have failed us, leaving us wondering who will be next.”
“The reality is, nowhere and no community is safe. Our schools, our movie theaters, our homes,” said Mariah Cooley, a youth member of the Board of March For Our Lives. “No other country in the world experiences this terror and violence. This is uniquely American and our politicians are ok with it. Young people, the next generation to lead this country, are done waiting as they allow us to be slaughtered by the dozen. On June 11th, we take to the streets once again to demand our leaders do something before it is too late.”
On Saturday, June 11th, more than 450 marches are currently planned to take place in D.C. and across the world, including in Boston, Atlanta, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Munich, and Rome. Since we last marched, guns have become the leading cause of death for American children. In 2022, there have been over 200 mass shootings—more mass shootings than days of the year. This isn’t a concert or a spectacle; we are mobilizing to survive.
TO JOIN A MARCH OR TO ORGANIZE ONE IN YOUR COMMUNITY, TEXT MARCH TO 954-954 OR VISIT marchforourlives.org/MARCH22
After a million of us marched in 2018, we saw historic changes to gun laws in state legislatures—over 150 pieces of state gun safety laws were passed, including tightening the requirements for purchasing firearms and raising the minimum age to own firearms in Florida; requiring universal background checks for firearm sales and enacting extreme risk protection orders in Virginia; and prohibiting firearms at election polling sites in Colorado. We registered hundreds of thousands of young voters, achieving 36% youth voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, the highest ever in a midterm election, and 50% youth voter turnout in the 2020 general election, including 100% voter turnout in the FL district that includes the University of Central Florida. We organized with communities to encourage states to invest in community violence intervention as a proven solution to reduce everyday shootings, and twelve states adopted this funding in 2021. We brought the NRA to its lowest favorability rating ever, and weakened it through legal action, resulting in an investigation by the New York Attorney General.
When we march, we make change. The failure of commonsense federal solutions to the gun violence epidemic rests squarely with Washington, where our leaders have refused to do their jobs and keep us alive. Young people and allies who support gun safety have done everything we’ve been asked to do to create change. If it takes mobilizing hundreds of thousands of Americans for Congress to budge on simple laws to stop mass death, we’re left with no other choice but to march.