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Thousands In D.C. Protest For Gun Control

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Debra Sourby was part of a group of about 80 people from Newtown, Conn. that came to the gun control rally in Washington, D.C.
Jacob Fenston
Debra Sourby was part of a group of about 80 people from Newtown, Conn. that came to the gun control rally in Washington, D.C.

Thousands of gun control advocates from across the nation rallied on the National Mall Saturday, demanding Congress and President Obama to pass gun legislation while the issue is still in the national spotlight.

Demonstrators came from across the country, including a busload of people from Newtown, Conn. One of the protesters, Eddy Sourby, is a freshman at Newtown High School.

Sourby was at the high school on Dec. 14, when, about a mile away, Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 elementary school students.

"We went into lockdown for like two hours, and everybody was like really confused," says Sourby. "Then, when it went on for too long, our teacher, he told us there was a shooting."

Sourby came to protest in D.C. with her mom, and about 80 others from Newtown, who say they were galvanized by the tragedy.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton was among the roster of local and national leaders who fired up the crowd. At one point, she asked all of the Newtown residents at the demonstration to stand up to be recognized.

"Today we join the great majority of Americans who want to move this country off of the outskirts of civilization, into the civilized world of nations who protect their children," says Norton in a speech to the crowd.

The silent march was interrupted by a handful of counter-protestors. Including Victoria Bingham, of Alexandria.

"I really believe in the second amendment because I know that living in the state of Virginia, there are so many people that do own guns, I am very safe," says Bingham.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray spoke at the rally, saying cities need federal action to stop gun violence.

"This is a city that has worked hard to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them," says Gray.

The District already bans high-capacity ammunition magazines, but the city's handgun ban was struck down in 2008.

The gun control debate will be front and center on Capitol Hill next week: on Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing called "What Should America Do About Gun Violence?"

Photos: Gun March

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