Austin, Texas – – Volunteer with texas Mothers demand action and Students demand action gathered on Texas State Capitol Thursday morning as part of Everytown for Gun Safety Action Funds Road Trip for Background Checks.
A series of nearly 60 demonstrations took place over ten days calling for stricter background checking laws. The event culminates in a demonstration in Washington, DC.
“It’s very important to us that we do everything in our power to try to make fewer people feel the way we feel today,” said Carla Byrne. In 2019, Byrne’s little brother ‘Joey’ was shot in a mass shooting in Odessa.
Joey, also known as Joe Griffith, was murdered while sitting in his car with his wife and two children. He was one of eight dead. 25 others were injured.
“… from a shooter who tried to get a gun from a licensed arms dealer in 2014 and failed a background check at the time. He later bypassed that loophole and was able to buy a gun from a private seller,” explained Byrne.
From Monday April 5 to Thursday April 8 at 5 p.m. ten mass shootings took place in the United States, according to the nonprofit research group Gun violence archive. The group defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot at the same time, with the exception of the perpetrator.
Monday, Two brothers in Allen murdered four of their family members and killed themselves. One of them, a student from UT Austin, left a suicide note about her battle with mental illness. Calling US gun control a “joke”, he added, “Thank you for making the process so easy.”
Thursday, just a few hours after the Austin demonstration, A mass shooting took place less than 85 miles away in Bryan. Authorities have confirmed that one person was pronounced dead at the scene. Four other people were rushed to hospital with serious injuries, another person had non-life-threatening injuries after the shot, and another person was rushed to hospital with an asthma problem.
“We know our country can do more to protect our families. Unfortunately, this is not a priority for our lawmakers.” Moms Demand Action member Becca DeFelice said.
Felisha Bull, Texas Assistant Director of Gun owners of America, a gun rights group, told FOX 7 Austin, “Every day 600 to 8,000 Americans use a gun in self-defense to save many lives. Unfortunately, the misguided proposal to ban the private distribution of a gun without a federal background is.” Scheck could hamper American use of defense weapons. ”
Bull added, “It would be a farce to criminalize every single private sale, loan, or gift of a firearm made without one of these controls. Worse still, many individuals could be at risk from being unable to defend themselves. Universal and expanded background Controls harm the safety of Texans and do nothing to prevent criminals from carrying out criminal acts. “
Byrne questions the “good guy with a gun” rhetoric since her brother was a gun owner. “What did it do for my brother that day? … He didn’t know he was in the middle of a war zone and that he had to get it out and have it ready like he was in the Wild Wild West,” she asked.
She added, “What people need to understand is that nobody wants to take your guns away. Nobody wants to reverse the second change. I’m a gun owner. I passed a background check. It’s not about that. It’s about making sure people do that. ” Having guns won’t be the type to start shooting everyone. ”