More than 1,000 protesters have marched in New York City to demand an end to the epidemic of gun violence across the United States
Hundreds of parents and families joined the rally from the Brooklyn Bridge to New York City Hall on Saturday.
The New York chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which advocates for reforms to reduce gun violence, organized the annual event, now in its fourth year.
Moms Demand Action has sought to spread the organization’s message that the country needs stronger gun laws.
“I fervently believe this is not a partisan issue. This is not an anti-gun or pro-gun argument. This is not a Second Amendment issue, and does not deserve to be hotly debated as such. It is a safety issue,” actresses Julianne Moore told the crowd gathered in Manhattan.
The rally comes as parents of New York City school children are concerned with the rising number of weapons founds on campus this year. Just in the past couple months, three guns were found in three different New York City schools.
The protesters were chanting, “What do we want? Gun sense! When do we want it? Now!” They carried photos of gun-violence victims and signs that read, “Not one more,” “Moms get it done.”
Barbara Parker, whose 24-year-old daughter, Alison, was fatally shot last August on live TV while conducting an interview in Moneta, Virginia, commended the crowd for demanding action.
“Not everyone here has lost a loved one to gun violence. But you know, unless there’s change, it could happen to you,” she said.
Earlier this week, Parker told Newsweek she and her husband, Andy, decided to turn their grief into action by pledging to do “whatever it takes” to reduce gun violence in the country and ensure politicians supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA) gun lobby aren’t re-elected.
Constitution’s Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms. Gun-rights groups, including the NRA, argue that restrictions on gun purchases would not improve public safety.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), firearms are the cause of death for more than 33,000 people in the United States
every year, a number that includes accidental discharge, murder and suicides.