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March for Our Lives planning more than 50 meetings with lawmakers

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Student-led organization March for Our Lives has announced plans to hold more than 50 meetings with lawmakers to demand gun reform legislation following a recent string of mass shootings in the U.S. 

In a statement on Monday, the group said its activists have arranged more than 50 meetings with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in an effort to pass legislation to curb gun violence in the U.S. 

The organization said the meetings on Capitol Hill will set the stage for next week, when it is planning more than 450 demonstrations across the world to demand gun reform.

In a statement to The Hill on Tuesday, a spokesperson said the student-led organization plans to meet with lawmakers including Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and GOP Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). 

March for Our Lives was launched in 2018 in response to the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where 17 students and teachers were killed. 

Their latest actions follow an even deadlier shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 elementary school students and two teachers dead, and another massacre last month targeting Black people in a Buffalo, N.Y., grocery store that killed 10.

“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,” the organization said in its statement.

“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,” it added.  

President Biden last week called on lawmakers to address the issue urgently, suggesting Congress pass laws on expanding background checks, implementing a national “red flag” law system and banning assault-style rifles. 

However, Biden has remained out of talks among a bipartisan group of senators discussing more limited gun reform legislation in response to the mass shootings. 

Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), who is leading the GOP in the talks, said “it will be embarrassing” if the Senate can’t agree on a legislative response after the mass shooting in Uvalde.

The talks so far have focused on “red flag” laws allowing law enforcement to seize guns from individuals deemed a threat to themselves or others as well as expanded background checks for firearms sales and other measures to address school safety and mental health.

“We are a generation defined by the endless trauma of gun violence,” Zoe Touray, a survivor of the mass school shooting in Oxford, Mich., last year, said in a statement on this week’s meetings.

“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,” added Touray, now an organizer with March for Our Lives.

“This is far from inevitable. Our elected officials have decided to put party politics before our safety — before our lives,” she said.

Updated: 10:50 a.m.

Tags Biden Dianne Feinstein John Cornyn March For Our Lives March for Our Lives March For Our Lives Marco Rubio mass shootings Mass shootings in the United States President Biden President Biden Uvalde school shooting Washington D.C.
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