Four years after the first March For Our Lives in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, activists and organizers took to the streets to March For Our Lives again, with rallies taking place in D.C., Los Angeles, Boston, and New York. On June 11th, 2022 In the wake of tragedies in Buffalo and Uvalde, youth activists, community organizers, and thousands of participants across the nation rallied with March for Our Lives to demand gun safety legislation.
In under just 14 days, the Coalition was able to witness and be a part of an outstanding collective of community partners and youth who put together this call to action in Boston. The youth curated a program that highlighted the perspectives of diverse groups impacted by gun violence in the Commonwealth. We were joined by roughly 2,000 participants in Columbus Waterfront Park as we called on the federal government to implement meaningful policies to prevent gun violence in America.
Merrie Najimy, Teacher and President, MA Teachers Association.
Lawrence Stevenson, Survivor Support Coordinator, Louis D. Brown Peace Institute.
Angelica Fontes, Community Organizer, MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.
Justin Meszler, Gen Z Organizer, Boston March for Our Lives’ lead organizing team.
Leon Smith, Executive Director, Citizens for Juvenile Justice.
Sonya Coleman, Community Organizer, Stop Handgun Violence.
Feliza V., Youth spoken-word poet.
Dennis “Coach” Wilson, Community Activist and Co- Producer for the award-winning documentary “This Ain’t Normal”.
Justin Meszler, Mobilization Director at Voters of Tomorrow, and one of the lead organizers of the Boston rally, emphasized the importance of specific policies in preventing the mass shootings like those in Uvalde and Buffalo: "These are not controversial issues to the American public," said Meszler, "83 percent of gun owners support expanded background checks on sales of all firearms, including 72 percent of all NRA members. Gun safety is not controversial. Somehow, it’s only controversial in the halls of Congress—it’s only controversial to the gun lobby."
Alongside calls to action on the federal level, speakers addressed ways in which the Commonwealth can further strengthen already existing gun legislation. These bills included: the crime gun data analysis bill, expungement, Raise the Age, and the juvenile diversion bill.
We stood in solidarity with thousands in honor of ALL types of gun violence in EVERY community across the nation. We share immense love and gratitude with the youth organizers at March For Our Lives, and our member organizations: Citizens For Juvenile Justice, Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, Kreatabuzz, and Stop Handgun Violence for being a part of this lly.
The MFOL rallies played an important role in pushing the Senate to reach a gun violence prevention deal. As noted by our partners at CJAF this Includes:
Advance Extreme Risk Protection Orders
Efforts to prevent gun trafficking in our communities
$15 Billion dedicated to mental health funding and community violence intervention programs.
Closing the boyfriend loophole to protect domestic violence victims
Enhanced review process for under 21 gun purchasers
Support for state crisis intervention orders and more
While closing the “Boyfriend Loophole” is a strong step forward for survivors of domestic violence and their safety, there is still so much more that we can do to prevent gun violence in all of its forms. Massachusetts continues to serve as a model for the rest of the country in evidence-based gun violence prevention.