College students protest in Washington D.C. towards gun violence

A group of students gathered in Washington, DC, calling for actions from US politicians in the wake of mass shootings over the past few weeks.

Members of Students Demand Action, an advocacy group committed to ending gun violence in American communities, held the rally on Monday near the Capitol Reflecting Pool, reports Xinhua news agency.

With dozens of the participants wearing bulletproof vests standing on the stage, speakers took the podium one by one to discuss the issue of gun violence.

“How many more of us have to die to get the attention of those in office? How many more funerals do we have to attend?” said Manny Macedo, leader of the Los Angeles affiliate of Students Demand Action.

The protesters chanted at one point, “Senators, please act. Don’t look away. Don’t look away. Don’t look away”.

On the north lawn overlooked by the Washington Monument at the National Mall was the Gun Violence Memorial made up of rows of white vases with white and orange flowers.

Organizers said the memorial remembers victims of gun violence across the US, urging the Congress to find the courage to act.

A national debate on gun control has been renewed following a spate of recent mass shootings, including the May 24 carnage at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two teachers dead.

Senate Democrats and Republicans have engaged in gun talks but a comprehensive reform is an uphill battle given the political and ideological divides on Capitol Hill.

Monday’s rally came on the heels of another deadly weekend riddled with gun violence.

At least 17 people were killed and 62 others injured in 11 mass shootings across the US over the past weekend.

Early Sunday morning, a shooting outside a nightclub in Chattanooga, Tennessee, led to three deaths and 14 injuries.

Hours earlier in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, several shooters opened fire at a crowd in a popular night-life area, killing three while wounding 11 others.

The US has suffered 247 mass shootings over the past five months or so, with more than 18,700 lives lost to gun violence, according to the latest data from Gun Violence Archive.

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