Two Norcross students, Nia Hemphill and Kiara Edwards, were some of the earliest participants waiting for the march to start.
“I think that it’s important to come out and march because I feel like you need your voice to be heard,” Hemphill said. “Guns have no place in school. Our school actually received a gun threat the other day and everyone stopped coming to school. And I think that it’s ridiculous that we have to be afraid for our safety when we enter a school building.”
During the rally, Alec Zaslav, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas survivor, spoke of how his generation will fight for better gun control legislation. “While we may just be kids, we are citizens of this country. Very soon we will all be voting and we will be voting for those who believe that our lives are more important than AR-15s.”
But let’s not wait until these powerful, courageous students are old enough to vote. The time is now. The amount of people who showed up for the marches, who posted on social media, and who continue to raise their voices with shouts like “Not one more,” show us how many people want changes in gun legislation, and how hard they’re willing to work to get their voices heard.
So why isn’t it happening? Because the NRA has bought most of Georgia’s elected representatives in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Below is a list of every Ga. Republican U.S. Seantor and U.S. Representative and the amount of money they’ve accepted from the NRA. In some primary races, the NRA funded multiple GOP candidates to ensure that they’d have a friend in office, no matter who won the race.
Sen. David Perdue – $1,985,773
Sen. Johnny Isakson – $130,809
Rep. Karen Handel – $90,258
Rep. Tom Graves – $13,650
Rep. Doug Collins – $11,140
Rep. Buddy Carter – $4,352
Rep. Drew Ferguson – $3,000
Rep. Rob Woodall – $2,000
Rep. Austin Scott – $7,500
Rep. Jody Hice – $4,000
Rep. Barry Loudermilk – $5,000
Rep. Richard (Rick) Allen – $4,000
Although it’s hard to know exactly how much Casey Cagle has accepted from the NRA, from his defense of the NRA against Delta earlier in the year, it must be significant. “I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA,” Cagle tweeted.
Gov. Deal accepted at least $28,900 from the NRA between 1991 and 2010.
GOP gubernatorial hopeful and current Ga. Sec. of State Brian Kemp showed his love for the NRA and complete lack of tact or empathy for families and friends of slain students by calling for a “sales tax holiday” on guns ammunition, shortly after the Parkland, Fla. tragedy.
The incredible turnout for the historic marches this weekend show how many people are willing to fight for change. The marches gave us a hopeful glimpse into the next generation’s ability to organize, lead and fight for change.
But most of these amazing young leaders can’t voice their opposition at the ballot box…yet. Georgia adults need to do more and make NRA-backed politicians feel the sting of defeat on Election Day.
Georgians of all ages can contact their representatives today and let them know that continuing to protect the NRA instead of students will send them into early retirement.