In the United States, supporters of increased gun control call on Congress to act

“It’s different this time. » David Hogg keeps repeating it at the podium in front of the thousands of people gathered this Saturday, June 11 at the foot of the Washington Monument, in the heart of the capital. “It’s different this time” assures this co-founder of the March for Our Lives movement, on the occasion of a national day of mobilization in favor of increased control of firearms. The recent killings, in May, in a supermarket in Buffalo and in the school in Uvalde have put this nagging question back at the heart of the news. They also recalled the paralysis of Congress, where the sector lobby relies on a Republican Party won over to its interests, in the name of the second amendment to the Constitution and its financial contributions to electoral campaigns.

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The crowd was far smaller than the gigantic gathering of 2018 in this same place. Is it out of weariness, out of resignation in the face of the political deadlock on this issue? An effect of bad weather reigning over the capital? On the podium, the speakers followed one another. Survivors of mass killings, activists or politicians, they all showed the same impatience, with one horizon line: the mid-term elections in November.

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“Vote Them Out!” » resumed the crowd, meaning that it will be necessary to sanction in the polls those who oppose any reinforcement of the legislation. The great diversity of signs held up gave an idea of ​​the general state of mind. “Teach love, not confinement”, “teachers are not soldiers”, “fear has nothing to do in our schools” or “human beings rather than prairie dogs”, in reference to the argument of elected Republicans on the weapons of war, which would be necessary against certain wild animals. On the lawn, huge rows of artificial flowers, white and orange, were arranged, representing the deaths by firearms. The orange flowers symbolize, says a sign, the 5,000 more victims in 2020 than in 2019.

“A moral question”

Victoria Makanjuola, 23, extended her stay in Washington, where she had gone to attend a meeting of progressive organizations, to march against guns. Originally from Plano (Texas), this graduate in communication works within an association of the black community. She has had ” broken heart “ after the Uvalde killings, and believes that the authorities in Texas “sit down on this issue of weapons. » But she refuses to believe that the steps are of little use. “There is strength in numbers, she says. Nothing happens until something horrible happens. »

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