The lawn of the United States Capitol was filled on Tuesday morning with 7,000 pairs of shoes left by protestors. This was a powerful symbol for the children taken by gun violence from the Sandy Hook Elementary school. The global advocacy group Avaaz organized the protest. They want Congress to take action by establishing gun control legislation for the shooting in Florida that claimed seventeen lives. Some of the victims added their own shoes to the demonstration.
Avaaz organized the citizens, victims and celebrities leaving their shoes on the lawn prior to taking the tragedy of gun violence to the doorstep of Congress. The survivors of the shooting have organized The March for Our Lives. Tom Mauser lost his fifteen year old son Daniel in the Columbine shooting of 1999. He brought a pair of sons shoes to the gathering. He said he would wear the very shoes his son wore the day he died when he travels to DC. He believes the shoes are a powerful metaphor for the victims lost who once wore these shoes. He said it was a symbol of walking in their place to prevent others from walking this painful path.
There were members of Congress who walked outside to look at the symbolic display. This included Democratic Representatives Jim Himes of Connecticut and Raul Grijalva of Arizona. Jim Himes made an Instagram statement saying action must be taken because it was too much for the heart to cope with. Raul Grijalva stated he had personally left a pair of shoes as a way to honor the gun violence taking the lives of the young. He said he was tired of the chokehold and inaction the NRA lobbyists were exerting over Congress. He does not believe it should be this hard to protect the kids.
Avaaz said they made the decision the lives of the kid’s lost because of gun violence could be aptly represented by 7,000 pairs of shoes. According to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, every year roughly 1,300 children lose their lives to guns. This study was partially based on the statistics from the Centers for Disease Control. Once again Avaaz has stood tall in their beliefs.
Their Twitter Profile: https://twitter.com/avaaz