Lacy MacAuley

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a home for my pen, projects, and passions

spontaneous march to Congress

I was proud to be present for the historic filibuster on the Senate floor last night. I joined about 50 people who spontaneously marched all the way from the candlelight vigil in Dupont Circle, Washington DC’s historically LGBTQ neighborhood, to the Capitol Building. We marched through the party district of U Street, getting cheers from the revelers at Nellie’s a bar popular in the LGBTQ community. (Favorite chant: “We’re here, we’re queer, get these guns out of here!”)

Lacy Senate Orlando Gun Violence Demo 2 - Esquire

This is me at midnight after marching two hours to the Senate. (Photo: Esquire Magazine)

Then we went inside Congress and watched the filibuster in progress, with our rainbow scarves and with some wearing orange T-shirts that said “ENOUGH GUN VIOLENCE.” No mobile phones are allowed inside so I did not get nice photos of Senator Chris Murphy, but he was going strong the whole time I was present. I stayed until just after 1 AM. The filibuster ended at about 3 AM, and resulted in the Senate Republicans allowing a vote on a very watered-down gun control measure.

Lacy Senate Orlando Gun Violence Demo 1 - Esquire

And another photo of me taken moments later. (Photo: Esquire Magazine)

Esquire Magazine‘s Charles Pierce actually wrote about the filibuster. The veteran journalist expressed a very real and human frustration on gun violence. (The magazine also featured two photos, both showing me in the center from different angles. No idea why. I think they didn’t realize they were looking at photos of the same woman.) Pierce wrote:

“On Monday evening, there were mothers and fathers and loved ones of people who were killed in mass shootings gathered in the lobby of the United States Senate just after the United States Senate had disgraced itself, and many of them were holding onto each other and weeping, and there didn’t seem to be any point to wandering into their midst to gather quotes, and the question, “How do you feel about what happened today?” seemed obscenely trivial. So I stood on the fringes and watched these people and, for the first time in a very long time, got genuinely and deeply angry at a political event I was tasked to cover.” -Charles Pierce, Esquire Magazine

Of course, more needs to be done to stop the violence. Working toward equality and community empowerment are all important parts of the real solution. But Senate Republicans are now moving forward with a vote to take some extra measures on gun control, which is a good first step.

It’s hard to ban hate, homophobia, transphobia, or Islamophobia, but it is easy to enact more gun control laws and save lives. Hope we continue to see some action in this direction!

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