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Credit: Alyssa Eisenstein
Family Members of the Victims of the Highland Park Shooting Call for Action from Lawmakers at a “March Fourth” Rally in Washington, D.C.

Family Members of the Victims of the Highland Park Shooting Call for Action from Lawmakers at a “March Fourth” Rally in Washington, D.C.

By The Sunday Paper Team
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Following the July 4th mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, community and family members affected by that tragic day created March Fourth, an organization with the goal to rise up against gun violence and demand action from the nation's lawmakers. Specifically, they are seeking to ban assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition-feeding devices.

On Wednesday of this past week, the group marched in protest in Washington, D.C. and met with officials, including Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, who said that, while action has been taken, more is required. March Fourth agrees, saying in a released statement, “While President Biden recently signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law, an investment in red-flag laws, mental healthcare and school safety, and background checks for gun purchasers under 21, it is not enough."

Kitty Brandtner, founding member of March Fourth, detailed the group's meeting at the White House as heart-wrenching, but necessary. She writes, “There were 40 attendees from Highland Park, IL and Uvalde, TX present at the White House meeting on Wednesday, July 13. During the meeting, all participants were given a chance to speak and share their personal experiences with gun violence. Stories of loss, grief, and terror were retold, along with continued pleas for a federal ban on assault weapons and other urgent gun safety measures. The meeting was emotional and powerful for everyone in the room."

One speaker's testimony was especially powerful, Brandtner says. Caitlyne Gonzales, a survivor of the Robb Elementary tragedy in Uvalde, TX, spoke about narrowly surviving a mass shooting carried out by an assault weapon. Brandtner remembers, "During our meeting, I watched Caitlyne speak bravely and with more conviction than most adults. She said she was using her voice because her best friends are no longer here to use theirs. No one could hear Caitlyne's story firsthand and not see that a federal ban on assault weapons is needed now. No more assault weapons."

To learn more about this group that is moving humanity forward, follow their Instagram account here.