Activists marking the nine months since the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. are returning to Capitol Hill this week to keep attention on the issue of gun control.
The meetings and rallies set to take place Wednesday and Thursday were scheduled long before Monday's deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, but recent events will certainly bring the events more attention than they probably would have drawn in a week set to be dominated in both chambers by budget issues and debate over the future of the Affordable Care Act.
On Wednesday members of the Newtown Action Alliance plan to hold a midday rally with Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), some of the most vocal supporters of new gun control laws.
"These kinds of mass shootings provide an impetus and momentum" for Congress to once again consider new gun laws, Blumenthal told reporters Tuesday.
Murphy agreed: "No matter what state you’re in, 80 to 90 percent of your constituents want everybody to go through a background check before they buy a dangerous weapon. There’s not really a lot of difference between red states and blue states on support of background checks. People are furious with this place, and they’re going to be even angrier if after [Monday] we continue to do nothing.”
On Thursday, several survivors of recent mass shootings and relatives of people killed in the violence will attend a rally sponsored by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I). Featured speakers will include Stephen Barton, a survivor of the shooting at an Aurora, Colo. movie theater, and Kim Turner Baker, canon pastor at Washington National Cathedral.
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