AUSTIN (KXAN) — While thousands of people around the country took part in ‘March for our Lives’ events nationwide, the family members of Texas mass shooting victims were in Austin encouraging lawmakers to prevent gun violence.
“I forgot to say good morning and I think that’s going to haunt me for the rest of my life,” said Jasmine Cazares, sister of Jackie Cazares and cousin on Annebelle Rodriguez — who both died in Uvalde.
“I am unbelievably angry, but I’m not going to turn my anger into hate. I’m going to channel that anger and I’m going to create some real change.”
Hundreds showed up at the event, calling for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to call a special session to address gun violence. Levi Langley and Shayna Levy, Austin high schoolers, organized the rally.
“At some point, they can’t ignore us any longer,” Levy said. “The time for politicians to listen to us is now.”
Both are students at Anderson High School, where active shooter drills have been the norm for most of their time in primary school.
“I think shooter drills are in itself ineffective,” Langley said. “I think that that’s just like a band aid solution, because politicians don’t actually want to take action. So they just push for school safety instead of actually addressing the issue.”
While some protesters asked for guns to be banned altogether, others — including gun owners — pushed instead for universal background checks, ‘red flag’ laws and for lawmakers to raise the age to buy a rifle in Texas to 21.
“We need common sense. We need common sense gun reform. We own a gun. So it’s not like it’s a situation where we want to take away everyone’s guns,” Diana Pena, an Austin gun owner said.
Austin’s March for our Lives rally was one of many occurring over the weekend across the country.