Thousands March In Washington for Gun Control

Thousands of protesters marched in Washington, DC on Saturday calling for national gun control legislation in the wake of recent gun violence tragedies in the U.S. The sea of protesters held signs reading “Ban Assault Weapons Now,” “Gun Control Now” and “Stop NRA,” among other messages.

Participants from Newtown, Conn., wearing the green and white colors of Sandy Hook Elementary School gather for the March on Washington for Gun Control on Jan. 26, 2013 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters) The march was organized in remembrance of the recent mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December. About 100 residents of Newtown joined the march.

The demonstration culminated in a massive rally at the foot of the Washington Monument. The crowd stretched for about two blocks along Constitution Avenue, Associated Press reports.

Speakers at the Washington Monument called for a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

“We’re living in the middle of a crisis,” said Dave Ackert, a father of two from Newtown, who helped organize the group that also included residents from other parts of Connecticut. “Many, many people want to take action. Newtown wants to be remembered as a tipping point for positive change to reduce gun violence.”

“[Newtown] has been the tipping point for so many people in this country,’’ said Molly Smith, one of the march’s organizers. “This is a movement — an honest to God movement.”