15 March, 2018
Organized by the online activist group Avaaz, the shoes are meant to urge Congress to pass gun-reform legislation.
- Thousands of empty pairs of shoes representing children killed by gun violence were lined up outside of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday as part of a memorial display.
Gun control has increasingly gripped the nation since a 19-year-old man gunned down 17 students and teachers at a high school in Parkland, Fla., on February 14. Leading up to the march, spokesman for Avaaz told NBC affiliate News4 they're demanding Congress pay attention to the lives impacted by gun violence.
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Event organizers claimed the 7,000 pairs of shoes - 14,000 shoes altogether - symbolized the 7,000 children killed in the U.S. between December 14, 2012 and March 13, 2018.
"The culture on guns is shifting and we can all feel it", said deputy director Emma Ruby-Sachs in a news release. Demonstrators, instead, used their footwear to make a statement; along with contributions of shoes by Pope Francis and sneakers from the United Nations secretary general, Ban-Ki Moon. The majority of Americans want gun control.
"I was happy that we were doing this a while after (the Florida shooting) just to keep beating the drum", said Weiss. "So, what we're really focused on here more than anything else is identifying the people that are going to commit a violent act irrespective of where they're going to commit it and stopping them before they do it". Now, fresh off the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead and it has sparked protests from students nationwide.