Thousands march in US capital urging tough gun laws
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Thousands of people marched in Washington on Saturday to demand stronger gun control legislation, in a solemn rally backed by the US Education Secretary, the city's mayor and other top officials.
The demonstration came six weeks after the massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut in which 20 young children and six adults were shot dead, sparking a furious national debate over gun ownership.
The protesters marched in silence for around 30 minutes along the National Mall near the Capitol and Washington Monument, carrying white placards marked with the names and pictures of gun crime victims.
"No more talk. We must act, we must act, we must act," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said, telling the crowd that when he headed up a network of Chicago schools from 1990 to 2000, "we buried a child due to gun violence every two weeks." "This has to change. Our children, our families, our communities, our country deserve better," he said to thunderous applause.