SACRAMENTO, Calif. — More than 25 supporters and family members of victims of gun violence marched to California’s Capitol, Thursday, calling for an end to gun violence.
At the state capitol building, demonstrators met hundreds of high school students who traveled from the San Francisco Bay area to lobby for stricter gun laws in Sacramento.
About 300 students with the group, Bay Area Student Activists (BASA), wore black to show solidarity with those who have been a victim of gun violence.
“And even though a lot of us haven’t been direct victims of this, we see that the impact that’s had on the communities and the nation at large,” said Olivia Sally, a student from Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland that rallied in Sacramento.
Thursday's protests were a part of a National Day of Walkouts by students to raise awareness and protest against gun violence. The day of action began last year to show solidarity with the students affected by the rampage that killed 17 students at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Paula Anderson is a mother to a 3-year-old girl who was killed in South Sacramento by gunfire. Suspects fired shots into the family’s home killing her.
“She was everything to me. She was my little girl,” Anderson said of her daughter Azayla. “She was the reason I woke up in the morning. She was full of life.”
Anderson marched with other mothers and family members of people who have fallen victim to gun violence. She is supporting Assembly Bill 392. The bill, if passed, would limit police use of deadly force in California.
“We are here to uplift the names and the lives of those who have been taken senselessly at the hands of gun violence,” said Jamilia Land, a community organizer with California Families United For Justice. “Whether that be police murder or community violence.”
Demonstrators say all gun violence must end including mass shootings, suicide, homicide, and police shootings.
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Since the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, 76 gun control laws have been passed in states across the country, some banning bump stocks and regulating ammunition size. In California, former Gov. Jerry Brown signed several gun control bills in 2018, including one that raised the age for buying a shotgun or rifle to 21.