Gay Against Guns Target Key NRA Funder and Its GOP Tools

Gays Against Guns marched on the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, named for a major NRA funder. | DONNA ACETO

In the wake of the latest US gun massacre that killed 17 students and teachers in Parkland, Florida, more than a hundred demonstrators joined Gays Against Guns (GAG) to march on Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater Thursday night, protesting the plutocrat who is one of the big funders of the NRA’s massive “dark money” political spending.

Jay W. Walker of GAG — founded in response to the 2016 Pulse nightclub massacre that killed 49, mostly LGBTQ Latinx victims, in Orlando — said, “Congress is bought and paid for by the NRA, and this building is bought and paid for by David Koch.”

While GAG is out on the streets after every one of these atrocities, he added, “We work to keep the focus on gun violence non-stop between the mass shootings.”

Jay W. Walker and Cathy Marino-Thomas, GAG leaders, at Thursday night's protest. | DONNA ACETO

Cathy Marino-Thomas, another GAG veteran, said, “People need to get off their asses, out into the streets, and get to their legislators.”

She encouraged people to join GAG at its biweekly meetings at the LGBT Community Center on West 13th Street, the next of which is March 1 at 7 p.m.

Marino-Thomas pointed to tweets from students in the Florida school calling out Trump “as a piece of shit” for his offer of “prayers and condolences.”

“Kids are the ones who are going to make a difference,” she said.

Two victims of last year's Las Vegas outdoor concert massacre are remembered. | DONNA ACETO

Plans are in the works to hold one or more nationwide student walkouts to protest gun violence and demand meaningful action such as a ban on assault rifles, the brutally lethal gun of choice in these mass killings.

John Grauwiler called for continued civil disobedience at Thursday night's rally. | DONNA ACETO

Hal Moskowitz of GAG joined fellow GAG members on Wednesday in Washington for a sit-in at the offices of Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas, a reliable tool of the NRA.

“There were 23 of us sitting in while the massacre in Florida was happening,” he said.

GAG marchers in Washington on Wednesday, the day of the Florida murders, called out NRA leadership and its stalwarts in Congress. | DONNA ACETO

Six of them were arrested and fined $50 each.

GAG was in Washington to put pressure on the Senate not to advance a measure already passed by the House, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would allow Americans to carry concealed weapons from jurisdictions where concealed carry is legal into states which otherwise ban that practice.

At the kick-off rally in front of LaGuardia High School near Lincoln Center, GAG’s John Grauwiler called for more civil disobedience.

Activist Tim Murphy being arrested in the US Capitol on Wednesday. | DONNA ACETO

Lisa Byrne of Rise and Resist said, “I’m looking forward to the midterms and getting the Democrats back in control.”

Kevin Hertzog of GAG said that because of the Florida catastrophe, “there does seem to be a renewed sense of horror.”

He hopes it will swell the group’s numbers as well as those of its allies enough “for us finally to break through the malaise” that sinks in when nothing is ever done to control weapons of mass destruction.

Protesters in Washington on Valentine's Day, which proved to be a very bloody day. | DONNA ACETO

GAG protesters in Senator John Cornyn's office Wednesday. | DONNA ACETO