South Floridians Honor El Paso and Dayton Victims, Protest Gun Violence
Over 50 South Florida residents gathered Tuesday evening at the Freedom Tower to honor the victims of mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH and protest the lack of legislative change on the local and national level.
The two mass shootings, in less than 13 hours, shook the nation and South Florida, who's still grappling with its own tragedy at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
"Here we are again, saying enough—ya basta!—this is outrageous. What is it going to take? What is it going to take?," chanted the protestors at several points.
Among the participants were Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins and state senators Jose Javier Rodríguez and Annette Tadeo. Local chapters of organizations like Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action were also represented.
MariaVictoria Chacón-Briceño is 18-years-old and a volunteer with Students Demand Action. She decided to become an activist after the Parkland shooting and has been disappointed with what she perceives to be inactions from lawmakers.
“What I want to see is politicians to step forward, be brave, let go of the corrupt money and pass policies like universal background checks and red flag laws," said Chacón-Briceño. "If there is no change, I as an 18-year-old, next year, will be voting them out alongside all of my students, so it will be on our hands to correct this.”
The names of the victims from the shootings in El Paso and Dayton this weekend were read aloud followed by a moment of silence. The reader paused several times as she—and others—tried to contain the tears.