NEWTOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Following recent mass shootings across the country, advocates in Newtown are once again calling for an end to gun violence.
The Newtown community has been fighting for strong gun laws since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School nearly 10 years ago. Members of several groups, including Newtown Action Alliance and Sandy Hook Promise, spoke at the National Gun Violence Awareness Day rally at Edmond Town Hall, which was followed by a march to Sporting Arms & Ammunition Manufacturers Institute.
One of the loudest voices in the movement to end gun violence is the Junior Newtown Action Alliance. Several of them are survivors of the Sandy Hook shooting. Maggie LaBanca says she relives the trauma of Dec. 14, 2012, every day.
“Before I bury myself under covers, I take a quick scan of my room, then I scan again,” LaBanca said. “Maybe just one more time, then I’m okay, most of the time. that’s my life now. I don’t want apologies or false promises anymore. I want change.”
Members of the Newtown Action Alliance have been in Washington this week, pushing for a federal ban on assault weapons and a universal background check law.
“The only common thread in every incident of gun violence is a gun,” said David Stowe, a member of Newtown Action Alliance. “It’s not mental illness, it’s not a domestic dispute, it’s not anything other than a gun.”
Speakers echoed a message of hope, praising the work of teen leaders who have spent their childhood and teenage years fighting to make a difference. Advocates wore orange to honor victims of gun violence.
“We shouldn’t have to rally across America now to end gun violence,” said Rev. Henry Brown, the founder of Mothers United Against Violence. “Something should’ve happened in the Senate the day after Uvalde.”
Members of the Newtown community are traveling to Washington on Saturday, June 4, for this year’s March For Our Lives. The march was first held in 2018 after a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
There will be marches throughout Connecticut, including in Newtown, on the same day to show support.