The Boston City Council adopted a resolution Thursday that supports students across the country who wish to end gun violence in the United States.
The resolution backs the March for Our Lives movement, a student-led march occurring across the United States that is dedicated to terminating mass shootings and gun violence in schools. The Boston “sister march” will occur on March 24 at 12 p.m. on the Boston Common.
Lydia Edwards, Boston’s District 1 city councilor, told The Daily Free Press that the Council created the resolution because the City needs to apprehend those who have allowed gun violence to occur in U.S. schools.
“I think in general, we all move in solidarity for any community from ours to anybody who has suffered the way that Parkland and others have,” Edwards said. “But also, there’s a real move to hold gun manufacturers, the NRA and, in general, our culture accountable for what’s happening.”
Edwards said she’s inspired by talking to the youth who are leading this movement.
“Another key component was demonstrating how much we stand in solidarity with young people who are taking on risks, who are standing up against these powerful interests for their own futures,” Edwards said. “I think we’re all inspired by their bravery.”
The resolution came after 17 students were gunned down and killed on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, according to a press release from the City Council. Since the 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, at least 239 school shootings have taken place, leading to at least 138 individual deaths, according to the release.
Daniel Palomares, 29, of Dorchester, said if and when more gun control laws are put into place, it must be explicitly clear who can and cannot carry a firearm.
“If you want to extend the background check to mentally ill people, how do you define people who are mentally ill?” Palomares said. “I myself have depression and anxiety. Would that make me unfit to be licensed to carry a gun?”
Vikiana Petit-Homme, an organizer for the March for Our Lives: Boston, wrote in an email that she is arranging the march, in part, to hold the government accountable for their lack of movement.
“We organized this march to continue a conversation about gun violence in this country and to call attention to the astounding inaction from our national government,” Petit-Homme wrote. “We also want to support and amplify the voices of students who have demanded gun reform for years, but have been ignored or silenced.”
Petit-Homme wrote that while the movement is student-run, it has a goal of inspiring adults and young people alike.
“It is empowering to know that we are supported by adults in this movement,” Petit-Homme wrote. “As students, we demand that we feel safe in our communities and in our classrooms, and that our representatives prioritize our lives over access to guns.”
The American Public Health Association diagnosed gun violence as a public health problem and has urged for governmental action to ease gun violence.
Joseph Allonby, 57, of Brighton, said he had previously stopped his membership for the National Rifle Association because the organization had shifted its views from a safety and training organization to a political lobby.
“It’s extremist,” Allonby said. “In general, I think we have good laws in Massachusetts — we don’t need any more. I support the Second Amendment, but I don’t want teenagers solving their petty disputes in the streets of my city with gunfire.”
Julian Lopez-Leyva, another organizer for Boston’s March for Our Lives, wrote in a Facebook message that he helped organize the march because he was weary by current events, not inspired by them.
“I organized because I was not alone in my exhaustion, we as a generation were exhausted; flat tired of this,” Lopez-Leyva wrote. “… We must be furiously determined to eradicate the gun violence epidemic of our country — from our universities, high schools and elementary schools, to the ghettos of our inner cities …”
Lopez-Leyva wrote that he applauds the resolution published by the City Council, but cannot afford to be shocked by the outcome.
“Public opinion polling makes evident that common-sense gun legislation is largely agreed upon,” Lopez-Leyva wrote. “Unfortunately, this concurrence does not seem to permeate our federal legislative bodies, those who hold the actual authority to act on behalf of us; their constituency.”
Stacey Su, 24, of Brighton, said she’s looking forward to a “peaceful” Boston march that, she said, will not provoke violence.
“The entire idea is that it is a non-threatening, peaceful protest,” Su said. “I grew up with the state of mind that if you aren’t educated in something or if you don’t have an opinion that can be backed up with facts, then just be quiet.”