"One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here, so it's important to me," says Paul McCartney, remembering his Beatles bandmate John Lennon at the March for Our Lives in New York City https://t.co/u4aBKWC1Jb pic.twitter.com/8Jnjn8A3xH— CNN (@CNN) March 24, 2018
Sir Paul McCartney attended Saturday's March for Our Lives protest in New York City, telling CNN it was an important event for him because of losing best friend and former bandmate, John Lennon to gun violence.
Standing in solidarity with victims of gun violence while wearing a shirt that read "We can end gun violence," the former Beatles member told CNN he came to the march "just to support the people."
"I don't know if we can end gun violence," McCartney said. "But this is what we can do, so I'm here to do it."
The 75-year-old singer and songwriter went on to share that the site of the march held at 72nd Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West was a significant one for him as it was close to Lennon's home.
"One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here," McCartney said. "So it's important to me."
In December 1980, Mark David Chapman gunned down Lennon outside his place of residence at the Dakota Building while on a stroll with his wife, Yoko Ono. Chapman fired five rounds into Lennon's back, killing him instantly. Saturday's march in NYC was also close to Strawberry Fields, the Central Park tribute created by Ono for the Beatles singer and songwriter after his untimely death.
New York's March for Our Lives protest was one of the nearly 800 taking place around the world on Saturday with students and activists calling for gun reform in hopes lawmakers will enact new gun laws and prevent a mass school shooting from happening in the U.S. ever again.
Student survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, kick started March for Our Lives after 17 students and teachers were killed last month when confessed gunman and former student, Nikolas Cruz walked in with an AR-15 assault rifle. The student survivors conceived the idea of a march on Washington in the hopes of channeling their grief into activism, with hashtags and slogans like "Never Again" and "Not One More."
"We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school," reads the march's mission statement. "We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes. Our schools are unsafe. Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives."
McCartney reiterated the march's plea by telling CNN and other reporters it was up to Americans to make the changes they want to see in order to protect their children, and encouraging young people to "get out and vote."
"You can make the change. It is up to you," he said.
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