Washington,D.C., USA: The lawn outside the US Capitol was covered, Tuesday, with 14000 empty shoes to represent the 7,000 children killed by gun violence since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Activist group Avaaz placed the shoes to mark the gun-related deaths of 1,300 American kids each year.
“The culture on guns is shifting and we can all feel it,” said deputy director Emma Ruby-Sachs in a news release.
“Students are walking out of their schools, survivors are marching in the streets, and parents are here on the Capitol to honour the children we’ve lost and make a clear demand: not one more gun death.”
They will be displayed from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Avaaz, the organizers said at a memorial dedication attended by gun violence survivors and thousand of gun control activists.
A group of activists had earlier collected thousands of children’s shoes for the temporary memorial to children killed by gun violence since 20 children and six adults died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newton, Connecticut, in December 2012.
Andrew Nazdin said the shoes were used to create ‘Monument for Our Kids’, meant to raise awareness about children who’ve died from gun violence.
“We want to represent everyone who’s been lost,” he said. “We want to bring the tragedy that’s been felt in communities across the country right to Congress’ doorstep.”
The shoes were arranged on the southeast lawn of the U.S. Capitol Tuesday morning.
“We’re going to set up the shoes in rows, so you’ll have the view of the Capitol in the background, and it will be like as if there is a march on the Capitol demanding gun legislation,” Nazdin said before the group displayed the thousands of shoes in front of the Capitol.
The goal was to collect 7,000 shoes, and the response has been overwhelming in the past week. Several bags and boxes of shoes were collected in just one day at Barstons Child’s Play in northwest D.C.
“I think people are really moved by trying to do something to prevent gun violence and see this as something they can do,” Child’s Play owner Simmie Kerman said.
Afterward, the shoes will be donated to local homeless shelters and other charities.
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 Feb. 14.
The Florida incident was the 17th school shooting in 2018 alone, and has sparked tensions between the National Rifle Association, the surviving students, and Democrats and Republicans both in state houses and the White House.
The memorial comes the day before the scheduled national student walkout to protest gun violence following the Parkland, Fla. high school shooting last month that killed 17 people.
Students will also take to the streets of Washington, D.C., during the March For Our Lives on March 24 which is being championed by survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
EARLIER: 17 Crosses With Names Of Florida School Victims Hung On Gun Show billboard – Louisville, Kentucky, USA: 17 white crosses with names of those killed recently when a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, were seen on Sunday hanging from a billboard advertising a local gun show in Louisville, Kentucky. It is not clear who hung the crosses on the billboard.
The billboard includes a picture of a man holding two guns. The billboard promotes the “National Gun Day Gun Show,” which took place at the Kentucky Exposition Center at the end of February.
After the image of the crosses on the billboard went viral, a spokeswoman for the company that owns the billboard said the crosses would be taken down over “the next few hours.”
Gun control has become a central issue since the Florida high school shooting, with students demanding that lawmakers take action to prevent future shootings.
Students have planned a “March for Our Lives” later this month in Washington, D.C. to rally against gun violence and call for new gun laws.
Last month, a billboard on the northbound side of Interstate 65 near the Fern Valley Road exit was tagged with a message that stated: “Kill the NRA” and a reference to “Resist 45,” a group that opposes President Donald Trump.
The school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead has renewed outrage and debate over the nation’s gun laws, and the NRA is drawing criticism from those who want to see tighter regulations on firearms.
Photos of the tagged billboard last month circulated widely on social media. The NRA’s official Facebook page also shared a photo of the sign, telling gun owners that it’s “a wakeup call. They’re coming after us.”
“Resist 45” has popped up on several billboards across Louisville last year, including one on a University of Louisville soccer board near campus and another along Interstate 65.
A billboard targeted in October featured a small “Resist 45” tag in the corner and referenced a campaign scandal in which Trump was recorded in 2005 talking with Access Hollywood host Billy Bush about saxually assaulting women.
A Facebook page for Resist 45 has been deleted.