Salt Lake City on the #RoadtoChange

All along the #RoadtoChange Tour, Poli Pix has observed audiences sometimes numbering over four, five, or six hundreds people; good folks wishing to learn from the experiences of the Parkland Shooting survivors and other gun safety activists while our nation remains gripped by inaction on gun violence.

At the event hosted at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy, Utah, pro-gun control supporters were met by a sizable contingent of some 200 participants of the Utah Gun Exchange – an online firearm retailing platform. Their presence created a tense situation for the event. Only days before its scheduled curtain time, at least one venue backed out of their commitment to host March For Our Lives, citing possible security concerns.

Additionally, we witnessed at least 7 shouting matches between gun activists on either side of the issue, and one poor sod who took it upon himself to decry – in the middle of the event – the panelists for allegedly offering false information on gun deaths. His actions were spurned by a thousand death stares and suggestions he get the f*$k out.

To be fair, Sam Robinson, one of the Utah Gun Exchange’s top brass, surprised at least this observer with what I took as a meaningful, if not PR-based, entree by offering to work with the activists on reducing gun deaths as long as it didn’t infringe on an American’s Second Amendment rights. Given the nature of what the Road to Change is about, we suggest they find ways to come together around tackling red-flag laws, instituting reasonable mandatory waiting periods to purchase a firearm, along with other commonsense reforms without the need to confiscate firearms from law-abiding citizens. That said, he and Bryan Melchior, another of the groups leaders, followed the activists around the nation in it signature armored and branded military style truck, normally outfitted with a replica machine gun which was removed.

Among the attendees were Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Democratic candidate for U.S. House in Utah’s 4th Congressional District, Ben McAdams.

See below for a sample of the event images we provided to the organization (23/127 images).

Related reporting:

Updated 09/04/2018: An earlier version of this post stated incorrectly the leaders of the Utah Gun Exchange were driving their company truck for MFOL events with its regular machine gun replica. That was amended to as written above thanks to additional information provided by the group.




#RoadtoChange Recalls Tragedy to Make Progress in Denver, CO

In one of Poli Pix’s more emotionally-profound stops along March For Our Lives’ #RoadtoChange tour, survivors and families affected by the tragic events at Columbine High School and other mass shootings shared their mission to ensure safer communities with a 1,000+ person audience in Denver, CO.

Related reporting here:

Here’s a sample of images we provided to March For Our Lives:




#RoadtoChange’s Colorful Reception in Aurora, CO

March For Our Lives’ Road to Change Tour stopped in Aurora, CO, the infamous site of ‘The Dark Night Massacre’ – a mass shooting at a local movie theater that claimed the lives of 12 people and injured 70 others in July 2012.

Here are a few of the images we provided to the organization from our fully gallery of 126 photos.



New Mexico

#RoadtoChange Arrives in New Mexico

Poli Pix was so thrilled to run into so many of our friends in Albuquerque as part of our work documenting March For Our Lives’ Road to Change events throughout the Southwestern U.S. True to form, Albuquerque welcomed the student gun safety activists with a combination of lively music, art installation calling for an end to gun violence, and dancing – all at Albuquerque’s historic Roosevelt Park.

Here’s a sample of the full gallery we provided to the organization (23/109 images):




#RoadtoChange to the Sun City of El Paso, TX

March For Our Lives’ #RoadtoChange tour made a stop in Poli Pix Co.’s hometown of El Paso last month, sharing its vision for gun-sense communities and to usher in a new generation of voters into the political process.

Perhaps one of the most significant moments from the event for Poli Pix came from speaking with a local Republican, military veteran, and 2nd Amendment supporter about ways to come together and make progress on ending mass shootings. While he admitted that certain gun control laws don’t seem applicable to every community (in fact, El Paso is routinely rated as one of the safest cities in the U.S., so we get it), he understood the value of attending the event to hear the other side’s perspective. As a father, he found agreement with us that schools should be a safe place while respectfully disagreeing on the general access to guns in our society. We’re of the opinion that more conversations like this – underpinned by decorum and respect – should be happening; everywhere and all the time.

By our own account, the Parkland students and others have been pretty moderate in voicing their their policy goals. They’re looking for political leadership on establishing mandatory waiting periods to obtain firearms, on reconciling red flag laws to keep guns out of dangerous domestic environments, and on keeping guns out of classrooms. To that point, while there may be individuals in schools with concealed carry permits, it’s insane to us that the need for threat-neutralizing skills should ever hold more political importance than cultivating the next generation.

Here’s a sample of the full gallery we provided to the organization (32/102 images):