On the Ground in Washington, D.C. at the March for Our Lives Rally
As of June 15, 2022, 2,694 people have been shot and killed in the United States. That’s less than a month since the tragic mass shooting occurred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas—leading to the deaths of 19 children and two teachers, and wounding 17 others. That horrific act of violence, which claimed the lives of people aged between 8 and 46, was the 27th school shooting that’s occurred this year, and took place just 10 days after a shooting at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y. The sadness and rage that followed Uvalde was par for the course when it comes to mass shootings in America—but was exacerbated by the fact that most of the victims of this atrocity were children, especially after yet another shooting at Sandy Hook killed children between six and seven years old and six adult staff members 10 years earlier. Many felt overwhelmed and helpless in the days following the shooting, expressing sentiments online and to news outlets that their efforts to push for gun reform were hopeless against the overwhelming power of the United States government, Constitution, and NRA.
And then there were those who rose up and united, galvanized by the goal to enforce gun safety legislation in America. On June 11, more than 40,000 people descended upon the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Our Lives Rally, while hundreds of thousands more gathered in their own cities across the U.S. to protest. W magazine was on the ground in the District of Columbia to document the event, which feels timely and urgent every year, but took on new meaning in light of Uvalde. The demonstration was also a clear message to those who might be feeling defeated and downtrodden: don’t give up hope yet.