Giffords group unveils gun violence memorial on National Mall
A gun control group helmed by former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) on Wednesday unveiled a gun violence memorial on the National Mall to honor Americans who have died in shootings.
Giffords was joined by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other gun control advocates, including Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), for a press conference to discuss the memorial and to stress the need to pass gun safety legislation.
The memorial honors the 40,000 people who die from gun violence each year with 40,000 silk flowers. Giffords said that the memorial is a tribute to victims, as well as a call for the Senate to act on gun violence prevention legislation. It is open for public viewing and will be taken down on Friday.
Today we’re unveiling the Gun Violence Memorial—an installation of 40,000 flowers on the National Mall to show the scope of our gun violence crisis.
40,000 people are killed with guns each year.
— Giffords (@GiffordsCourage) April 13, 2021
The installation was designed by Doug Landry, who is also the artist behind the COVID-19 installation on the National Mall.
“We are at a crossroads. We can let the shooting continue or we can act. We can protect our families, our future. We can vote. We can be on the right side of history. Please join us in this fight,” Giffords, herself a gun violence survivor, said.
Reps. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Lucy McBath (D-Fla.) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) also attended the press conference.
President Biden last week outlined six actions the administration is planning to take to tackle gun violence prevention, including action on “ghost guns” and “red flag laws.”
The president called on Congress to pass two bills the House passed last month. One would strengthen background checks, and the other would close the so-called Charleston loophole by extending the time federal investigators have to conduct background checks.
He also called on Congress to pass an assault weapon ban and a ban on high-capacity magazines, which was passed in 1994 under President Clinton and expired in 2004.