Over the course of this year alone, there have been more than 250 mass shootings across the United States. Uvalde, Buffalo, Tulsa, Philadelphia; The list goes on. Rates of deaths because of gun violence in the US seem to be out of control. What can be done about it?
This is what Joshua and Ledsy Brown thought to themselves after hearing about the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24. The school shooting claimed the lives of 19 students and two teachers. Moved by this tragedy, the couple wanted to reach out and make a change in their community, so they organized a March For Our Lives event in Louisville to support gun control legislation.
The march occurred on Saturday, June 11, at 12 p.m. and began at Jefferson Hospital. It continued down Peachtree Street and through downtown Louisville, ending at the Jefferson County Courthouse.
The Browns chose to begin the march at the hospital because that’s often where shooting victims are first taken, and to end at the courthouse because, according to Ledsy Brown, it’s time for the government to implement changes to protect its citizens.
Led by the Browns, attendees peacefully marched in bright blue T-shirts displaying the March For Our Lives logo and waving signs that read, “protect kids, not guns.”
The protest signs reference school shootings in the United States. Twenty-seven school shootings have taken place in America so far in 2022, and since the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, there have been more than 300 school shootings in the United States. Between 2009 and 2020, mass shootings took the lives of over 1,000 people, with 1 in 4 of those being children or teenagers.
“Gun violence is a big issue nationwide,” said Melanie Hennessy, 48, of Louisville, one of the attendees at the march.
“We’ve got to up the age limit where people can’t get guns until they’re 21. We need to ban the assault rifles, the AR-15s that they come in with, and start enforcing the gun laws that we have,” Hennessy said.
Tony Sofiero, 57, of Augusta, also attended the march.
“Automatic weapons are meant for military use. They’re not appropriate for people who aren’t trained to have them,” Sofiero said.
According to everytownresearch.org, from 2009 to 2020, assault weapons, like AR-15s, resulted in about six times as many people shot per mass shooting. Additionally, 1 in 3 mass shootings involved a shooter who had illegal possession of a firearm at the time of the shooting.
The definition of a mass shooting varies among sources but is generally accepted as being an event where four or more people are injured or killed by a firearm.
March for Our Lives is an organization that was founded in 2018 after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The organization’s goal is to create awareness and action around the many inequities affecting lives and driving gun tragedies.
For more information on March For Our Lives, visit https://marchforourlives.com.
This article originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: Couple leads March For Our Lives in Louisville