Gun violence survivors, Texas moms, and some lawmakers joined together at the Austin Capitol in a walk to end gun violence.
This was a nationwide effort with nearly 100 Orange Walks this weekend in communities across the country.
They are commemorating the 3rd anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting where 20 students and six adult staff members were killed.
Participants chanted, “No more silence, end gun violence,” as they walked the streets of Downtown Austin. Prior to the walk, they came together on the steps of the Capitol where many spoke. Reverend John Elford is a Pastor for the University United Methodist Church “On their behalf (the victims) we must say that in a culture that fetishizes guns where there's virtually unrestrained and unregulated access to firearms, there is much that can be done,” he said.
Participants said along with commemorating the anniversary, they wanted to honor all survivors and victims of gun violence and call on our nation's leaders to act. “These things could be easily rectified if our leaders had the spine to act,” said Ed Scruggs who is a Board Member for Texas Gunsense.
Multiple organizations attended the event, including the Texas Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, and Gun Free UT.”I don't want to take guns away from legal responsible gun owners. But I want them to keep them away from me,” said a Gun Free UT representative.
Met with many cheers, Austin Mayor Steve Adler came to support the walk. “I think there are some common sense steps that we can take with respect to gun violence in the country. I see this as a public health issue, there's not a good reason why background checks don't include people that are on no fly lists for example,” he said.
Participants were all dressed in the color Orange. Orange is a color that has been embraced by the gun violence prevention movement, a color hunters wear for safety to warn other hunters not to shoot.
Here in Texas, the walk took place in Austin, Houston and San Antonio.
Participants also took to social media, by sharing photos and videos using #EndGunViolence.