SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Local activists are renewing calls for gun reform following last week’s shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Nineteen students and two teachers are dead, making it the 2nd deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.
In 2018, hundreds of Savannahians rallied for stricter gun laws after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Students at Savannah Arts Academy also organized a walkout in a show of solidarity.
“There was a lot of really charged emotion among the students,” said Sierra Karem, who was part of the walkout. “It was just what we’ve been saying for years and years now, enough is enough.”
The March for Our Lives movement brought out more than 1 million people in cities across the country. Demonstrators hoped school shootings would come to an end after the one in Parkland, which left 17 people dead.
But four years later, an analysis from Education Weeks shows 119 more have happened since then.
“Four years later — and 10 years after Sandy Hook — we’re still having this conversation,” Karem said. “Nothing’s changed, in fact, actually I can’t say nothing has changed. It’s gotten worse.”
“It’s scary that you’re going somewhere to learn, to forge a path, to create your future and you have to know in a second that future could be taken,” she continued.
Activists say school shootings are preventable and are calling on lawmakers to find a solution. Until then, they’re preparing to come together once again in hopes their years-long calls for change will finally be heard.
“This is such an awful tragedy and it’s just heartbreaking that this had to happen,” Karem said. “But I hope that this is the last one. I hope this is the one that makes enough people say enough is enough.”
This Saturday, the Savannah Alliance of Pastors will be hosting a gun violence prevention event starting at 1 p.m. at First African Baptist Church.
On June 11, activists will come together for a March for Our Lives rally at Daffin Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.