Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

School violence remembered as thousands of shoes placed before US Congress

School violence remembered as thousands of shoes placed before US Congress

Gun control advocates and students seized on the most recent school shooting to call on Congress to take up legislation to tighten background checks and restrict access to certain weapons. Prominent celebrities, including Bette Midler and Chelsea Handler, helped publicize the drive via social media.

ABC reports the organization, Avaaz, collected the shoes over a two week period, and some of the shoes were donated by families who had themselves lost a child to gun violence.

The display was laid out on the southeast lawn of the Capitol.

The shoes will be taken off the lawn around 2 p.m. Tuesday, but Soria said that all 7,000 pairs will be donated to charity.

Organizers of the memorial said the Parkland shooting was the catalyst for creating the memorial.

The memorial was set up by Avaaz, a group that mobilizes activists largely through online campaigns and petitions. Her daughter survived the shooting.

"The culture on guns is shifting, and we can all feel it", she said. A sea of empty shoes also filled the grounds outside the Department of Health in 2016 to represent the millions of uninsured people who die each year from treatable conditions. The shoes represents the number of lives lost since the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, Ct.

A massive and powerful display in Washington Tuesday calling for an end to gun violence.

Several mass shootings have occurred since Sandy Hook, including the October 1 tragedy in Las Vegas, a church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and another school shooting last month in Parkland, Florida.

"There's nobody in those shoes, it's like the emptiness in our hearts from gun violence", said Mauser, 66, of Littleton, Colorado. There has been, on average, at least one school shooting a week in the United States since 2013.

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