The organizers of last month’s March for Our Lives have taken their movement to town halls across the country and invited congressional lawmakers—who have returned to their districts for a two-week recess—to discuss action on gun control. According to the Town Hall Project, more than 130 of these meetings are taking place, with most of the events happening on Saturday.
Though invited, no Republicans appeared at any town halls, and many of the forums featured empty chairs to symbolize their absences.
Mother Jones‘ Kara Voght attended the town hall at Virginia’s 10th congressional district, where every Democratic candidate seeking to unseat Republican incumbent Rep. Barbara Comstock showed up to discuss gun legislation. Comstock, unsurprisingly, refused to attend.
Here are some other highlights from around the country.
Let’s start in Glen Ellyn, Illinois:
It’s absolutely packed at today’s #TownHallForOurLives! Thanks to @CBIL6th @townhallproject and @AMarch4OurLives for organizing this event and the students from our local schools for carrying it out so well! pic.twitter.com/LCNIqyb1su
— Hadiya Afzal (@hadiya_afzal) April 7, 2018
Then go east to Natick, Massachusetts:
— doylemama (@doylemama) April 7, 2018
Next stop, Fresno, California:
Then back to Buffalo, NY:
This is an empty chair.
If @RepChrisCollins had made time to listen to his constituents, he could have sat here and explained his positions on gun violence. Instead, he ignored the student organizers, and called them names. #TownHallForOurLives #NeverAgain pic.twitter.com/UeQcxYGx3t
— Amy Ludwig VanDerwater (@amylvpoemfarm) April 7, 2018
Also in New York, this from New York City:
Thank you Congresswomen @NydiaVelazquez and @RepMaloney for hosting the#NYC #TownHallForOurLives. It was an honor to join the other panelists and represent @MomsDemand at this student moderated event to say #EnoughIsEnough pic.twitter.com/6NgTSEVBdx
— @Solluna (@SollunaNola) April 7, 2018
In the midwest, there is a meeting in Ashtabula, Ohio:
But it’s not as if Republicans failed to meet with constituents at all this week. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) hosted a “coffee with constituents” event on Friday, pulled out a loaded gun, and said “I’m not going to be a Gabby Giffords”—referring to the Arizona Democrat who was shot outside a grocery store in 2011.
“I don’t mind dying,” Norman told the crowd, “but whoever shoots me better shoot well or I’m shooting back.”