WASHINGTON - Thousands of empty pairs of shoes representing children killed by gun violence were lined up outside of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday as part of a memorial display.
The Monument For Our Kids memorial includes 7,000 pairs of shoes, said Avaaz, the organization behind the event. Each pair represents a child who has been killed by gun violence in the U.S. since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
"What we're saying is killing has to stop," said Emma Ruby-Sachs, deputy director of Avaaz, who spoke with FOX 5's Bob Barnard. "Culture is changing in America right now. The majority of Americans want gun control. The majority of gun owners want gun control and we're putting lives of these children at the feet of Congress and saying, 'Catch up, act now, let's end this.'"
A study published in the journal "Pediatrics" found that an average of 1,297 children die annually from gun-related injuries, making guns the third-leading cause of death for children in America behind illnesses and unintentional injuries such as drownings or car crashes.
The study showed an average of 5,790 children in the United States receive emergency room treatment for gun-related injuries each year with about 21 percent of those injuries being accidental.
The temporary memorial was on display from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the southeast lawn of the U.S. Capitol across from the Library of Congress.