Neighbors, politicians and students gathered in South Austin today to discuss gun violence in the U.S. It comes after the nationwide "March for our Lives” rally last month.
The event Saturday evening was called “Town Hall For Our Lives.”
A student-led organization is hosting more than 100 town hall meetings across the country Saturday, many of those throughout Texas.
"They may not remember my daughter's name, but they remember there was a five inch hole left in her face because there was such velocity, a bullet that is designed for the military used in a gun designed for warfare."
Sandy Phillips creator of Survivors Empowered alongside her husband Lonnie started their organization after their daughter Jessica was murdered in the Aurora Colorado Theatre mass shooting in 2012.
They travel across the nation to attend events like the one held Saturday night at the Dittmar Recreation Center.
"We know people who have been working on this cause for 25 years so to see this new energy who won't take 'no' for an answer as older folks we say we can't achieve that…. but these kids are saying ‘yes we can’,” Sandy adds.
Several students, like Jacob Springer from UT, helped organize the event. He says having students moderate makes a huge difference - since they can truly ask questions they feel pertain directly to them.
"And with students who still have their full futures ahead of them when they're marching for their lives they are actually talking about their own lives who have students in these schools who have now become battlegrounds essentially."
Sandy says, “it's because of these kids saying we want an assault rifles ban and you can't tell us we can't get it because we'll get it or we'll elect people who will give it to us. So it's inspiring."
Philips hopes voters will remember this discussion and the lives it impacts when they enter the polling booth in November.
"We're not fighting to take anyone's guns away from them we're fighting for common sense legislation to prevent other families from having the same visual I have every single day."