Demonstrators to call for response to continuing gun violence
By Bert Etling, Ashland.news
Rallies calling for gun violence to be addressed by Congress and state legislatures are set all around the country Saturday, including a 1 p.m. gathering at the Ashland Plaza.
Coming the wake of the May 24 killing of 19 students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas by a gunman using an AR-15, the “Enough is Enough” rallies are organized by or in coordination with the March for Our Lives organization, which was formed by former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students after 14 students and three staff members were slain by a gunman wielding an AR-15 in 2018 in Parkland, Florida.
As of Friday afternoon 358 marches were planned in 47 states (the Dakotas and Wyoming are the exceptions), including in Washington, D.C., and 14 others in Oregon, including one from 11 a.m. to noon at the Josephine County Courthouse in Grants Pass.
“Folks who want our nation to begin to address gun violence by demanding that Congress and state legislatures pass common sense gun regulations laws,” wrote Allen Hallmark of Veterans for Peace in a statement announcing the Ashland march, “such as banning assault weapons and magazines with more than 10 bullets, licensing of all guns with background checks and similar measures are urged to make a sign and join us.”
According to Oregon Capital Chronicle, the Oregon Education Association, the state’s largest teacher’s union, will join some of the March for Our Lives events this weekend.
“Educators in Oregon, and throughout the nation, are participating in the June 11 March for Our Lives because there isn’t a single one of us who hasn’t spent an evening worried sick about what we could and would do to keep our students safe if an active shooter entered our building,” president Reed Scott Schwalbach said in a statement. “We’re marching to tell elected officials that after Thurston, after Columbine, after Virginia Tech, after Sandy Hook, after Reynolds HS, Umpqua Community College, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and now Robb Elementary that the status quo is not only failing our students and educators – it’s costing them their lives.”