AUSTIN, Texas - University of Texas at Austin students rallied against gun violence Saturday at Republic Park.
J.J. Martinez, an activist from El Paso, shared the Sun City’s resilience after a gunman opened fire on August 3 at a WalMart, killing more than 20 people.
"You don't think that it will hit your city, you don't think that it will come to the city and you are an advocate for the people who have lost their lives in Columbine and Parkland and then when it hits your city it becomes even more real," Martinez said.
The battle over gun rights ignited in Texas, after tragedy struck West Texas. Gun reform advocates joined the rally calling for stricter gun laws and universal background checks.
Diana Earl spoke about the everyday gun violence criminal justice workers encounter. It’s the violence Earl said took her son’s life.
"We need to limit these deaths, these senseless deaths that occur every day does not make any sense and it's all because they have their right to use their gun,” Earl said. "We are not supposed to kill each other because we are angry and that's exactly what happened to my son."
Earl joined U.S Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) and Mayor Steve Adler in urging today’s youth to raise their voices and exercise their right to vote.
"I do not have faith that our legislature,” Adler said. “Congress at the national level or here at the state level are going to do what almost everyone wants them to do which is why elections are important."