Shoe memorial represents thousands of victims of U.S. gun violence

Saul Loeb  Getty Images

Saul Loeb Getty Images

Thousands of shoes were laid out on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, representing children killed by gun violence since the Sandy Hook school shooting.

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.

The shoes are from family members of victims, as well as celebrities, and others from across the country.

The group said in a statement that they collected 7,000 pairs of shoes for the memorial to bring "the heartbreak of gun violence to Congress' doorstep".

Donors to the shoe monument include actresses Susan Sarandon and Bette Midler, and talk show host Chelsea Handler.


The event mirrors a similar display the group put on following the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris ahead of the Global Climate Summit. The figure used by Avaaz would amount to approximately 6,825 children killed by guns in that time period. The day 20 children and six adults died in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in CT. "Culture is changing in America right now".

"When students protest at schools, our school staff will respond appropriately and allow our students to be heard", said Robert Runcie, superintendent for public schools for Broward County, Florida, where Parkland's Marjory Stoneman is located.

Although there was no link to any figures or date, Avaaz said the study found that guns kill an average of "1,300 American kids a year".

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.

Dozens of colleges and universities across the country, including at least three Ivy League schools, have said their application processes will not consider disciplinary action taken against high school students who engage in protests.

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