These shoes represent the 7,000 children lost to gun violence since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. They were left outside the U.S. Capitol Building as a message to lawmakers that it’s time for change.
The “Monument for Our Kids” was organized by Avaaz. The group is pressing Congress to pass more gun regulations.
Avaaz Deputy Director Emma Ruby-Sachs explained, “Behind me are 7,000 empty pairs of shoes that represent 7,000 kids killed by gun violence since Sandy Hook in 2012. And I think this is an amazing moment where America is ready for gun control. In fact, our kids are begging us for gun control. And behind me is the real cost of inaction. Each one of these kids could have been saved by laws that protected them from the violence of guns.”
The used shoes were donated by people across the country, including celebrities like Chelsea Handler and Bette Midler. Some parents who lost children to gun violence attended the event. After, the shoes will be donated to various charities.
"I think it showed us the power of an empty pair of shoes. You know, I brought my daughter’s shoes here today. And when I look at them, I think about the fact that she’s outgrowing them and that I want her to be able to outgrow them and to be an adult in this world.” Ruby-Sachs stated.