Seven thousand pairs of children's shoes were laid out on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday morning (March 13), an installation created by a global advocacy organization to represent what it said was a single pair for every child killed by gunfire since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, according to news reports.
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.
Avaaz's website says the group received donations from victims' families, members of the public, and even celebrities. Since the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Dec 2012 until now, the math shakes out to roughly 7000 kids (0-17) killed by guns since then. Actresses Susan Sarandon and Bette Midler, and talk show host Chelsea Handler were among shoe donors.
The shoes will be on display from 8:30 a.m.to 2 p.m. on Tuesday on the southeast lawn of the U.S. Capitol across from the Library of Congress. Some of the shoes (notably elementary and middle school sizes) were donated by families that lost their children to gun violence.
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One of the parents in attendance Tuesday was Tom Mauser, whose son was killed in the Columbine school massacre.
Inside the Capitol, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., paid tribute the children whose lives have been lost since the mass shooting. "And she said 'hi mommy".
"There's nobody in those shoes, it's like the emptiness in our hearts from gun violence", said Mauser, 66, of Littleton, Colorado.