(INDIANAPOLIS) – About 100 gun reform activists have rallied in Indianapolis behind President Biden’s call for legislation.
Moms Demand Action began the annual rally in 2019, but this year’s event on the downtown Canal Walk comes barely a week after the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting, and a day after Biden’s televised address pleading with Congress to come together on proposals to reduce gun violence. Moms Demand volunteers recited the names of 61 people killed by gunshot wounds so far this year, about 70% of the city’s homicides.
Alex Rollo with Moms Demand urged supporters of new gun laws to focus not on statistics, but the people affected by those shootings — not only murder victims, but the families who must cope with grief, and those who are wounded but survive. She says she’s tired of both the long-running fight to pass new laws, and the word “fight” itself.
“I’m not a confrontational person….I am annoyed that we have to work this flipping hard,” Rollo told the crowd. “It is appalling to me that what is right, what is moral, what is ethical, is not what is influencing the decision makers in this country.”
Rollo embraces Biden’s calls to revive the 1990s assault weapon ban, establish universal background checks, pass safe storage requirements for guns, and create a national “red flag” law like Indiana’s, which allows a court to review requests to seize guns from people with mental health issues. And she says Indiana legislators should rethink a newly-passed law which takes effect in four weeks, eliminating Indiana’s permit requirement to carry a handgun.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears, and State Senators Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) and J.D. Ford (D-Carmel) were among those on hand to voice support. Hogsett notes Indiana law prohibits local gun restrictions, and says Congress and the General Assembly can and should act.