Survivors of the deadly Fourth of July parade shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, marched on the Capitol on Wednesday, a little more than a week after they dodged bullets.
Families and organizers dressed in orange held signs reading “Enough Is Enough” and wept as survivors recounted trauma and demanded stricter gun laws. People with connections to the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting, including the parents of 10-year-old victim Lexi Rubio, also attended.
Alexandria, Virginia, resident Carrie Drummond spoke with sorrow and fury about fleeing the 2017 Congressional baseball game shooting with her young children as they walked their dog near their home — only to have to escape a second shooting this month.
“Unfortunately, five years later, we were at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, and we had to dodge from bullets there too. This is not right,” she said, placing her hand on her son’s shoulder. "This is our second mass shooting."
The family was at the parade when they heard gunfire and hit the ground. They ran to an underground parking garage for cover, Drummond said. In the confusion, one of their children was separated from the family. Another family grabbed him and pulled him behind a truck as the shots continued.
“Enough is enough. We are finished listening to people who tell us we can’t make change, because we can and we will,” Drummond, a teacher, said.
Rally participants included Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Sen. Chris Murphy.
March Fourth is seeking what they described as a ban on assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition-feeding devices.
“While President Biden recently signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law, an investment in red-flag laws, mental healthcare and school safety, and background checks for gun purchasers under 21, it is not enough,” the group said in a statement.
Before the rally, parade shooting survivor Michelle Gerstin recounted how families hid in basements, bathrooms and dumpsters as the gunman fired.
“Highland Park needs to be the last devastated community that this ever has to happen in. So, please,” she said.