Prior to the planned National School Walkout this week and the upcoming march on Washington on March 24, the global advocacy group called Avaaz has staged a unique demonstration in front of the Capitol building in Washington. According to a report from CBS News, the demonstration itself involves the use of 7,000 pairs of shoes that apparently represented the number of children that have already been killed since the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. The latest demonstration is part of a new wave of gun control activism that was sparked by the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month.
All of the shoes were laid out on the southeast lawn of the Capitol building and were on display from 8:30 in the morning until 2 p.m. in the afternoon. As reported by Vox, the group came up with the figure based on research conducted by the American Academy of Paediatrics. The research apparently reveals that approximately 1,300 children are killed by gun-related violence each year, which means that about three children are killed each day.
Aside from honoring those who have died due to gun violence, the international advocacy group is also sending a clear message to Congress, demanding that they take action and implement better gun control legislation. The shoes are also meant to show that more children will die if nothing is going to change. This message is further made clear through the group’s signs that read “#NotOneMOre.”
According to the group’s website, Avaaz is a US-based organization that was launched in 2007. The organization fights for global issues such as human rights, climate change, corruption, poverty, and animal rights. The group receives most of its funding from donations from victims, celebrities, and other donors. Several shoes that were used during the protest were donated by the families of shooting victims, which includes a pair of turquoise blue cowboy boots. The boots were donated by the parents of Allison Parker, a 24-year-old reporter who was fatally shot on live television in 2015. Parents of victims of mass shootings going as far back as the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting were also present at the event.