March For Our Lives held a rally outside the state capitol in Austin on Saturday with parents who lost their children in the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, families and survivors of a 2018 shooting at Santa Fe High School, and youth activists, to demand action on gun safety from Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
“Three months after the horrifying and preventable tragedy at Robb Elementary School, Governor Abbott has yet to take action to keep children safe and prevent gun violence. Texas children returning to school within weeks to come, Abbott’s inaction is unacceptable.” March For Our Lives said in a statement Friday.
Victims and families of those killed in shootings demanded that Abbott convene a special session to raise the minimum age to purchase an assault weapon in Texas from 18 to 21.
“These guns belong in the military, they belong in the war, not in the classroom,” said Maggie Mireles, sister of elementary school teacher Eva Mireles, who was killed in the Robb Elementary shooting. School in Uvalde.
Many speakers, including Mireles, called on Texans to elect Abbott.
Mireles said when his family met Abbott, they asked him to change gun laws. “He said he would work hard to make this happen and it didn’t happen,” she said.
The crowd could be heard chanting “vote it”, referring to Abbott, and “raise the age”, between speakers.
Speakers included parents of children killed in the Robb Elementary School shooting, families of teachers killed, and families and survivors of mass shootings across the country.
“It’s time to stop using mental issues as an excuse for these mass shootings. When in reality it’s making it easier for teens to buy AR,” said Belinda Arriola, whose granddaughter Amory Garza was killed in the Robb Elementary School shooting in May.
Arriola slammed Abbott for his lack of action on gun control and called on him to call a special session to raise the age limit for buying assault weapons, saying it should have be done three months ago.
“You disgracefully and disrespectfully uttered these words: ‘Uvalde’s tragedy could have been worse.’ No governor, the tragedy at Uvalde should never have happened,” Arriola said.
Families affected by the 2018 Santa Fe high school shooting also rallied together, echoing promises of change made by lawmakers that were never delivered.
“We were promised a lot of things. We asked for a lot of things and nothing ever changed,” said a speaker whose son was killed in the Santa Fe shooting and has only been identified as Rosie. “Greg Abbott, I’m asking you to do something. You sat us down at a round table, promised us a bunch of stuff and let us down.”
Rosie added: “We’ll never stop a school shooting, we can’t fool ourselves into thinking we can do it. But we can make it harder. And we need people who can make it. more difficult.”