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March in D.C. supports gun control efforts

January 25, 2013 News Extra

WASHINGTON — Residents from Newtown, Conn., are joining a march today for gun control with parents, pastors, survivors of gun violence and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Organizers said they are expecting thousands of participants for the rally on the National Mall, including about 100 from Newtown and buses from New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia. Others are flying in from Seattle, San Francisco and even Alaska.

They will gather at the Capitol Reflecting Pool at 10 a.m. today and will begin marching down Constitution Avenue toward the Washington Monument at 11 a.m. A rally is planned on the monument grounds at noon.

Molly Smith, the artistic director of Washington’s Arena Stage, and her partner organized the march, inspired by the December massacre that killed 20 first graders and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. The gunman also fatally shot his mother and committed suicide.

While she’s never organized a political march before, Smith said she was compelled to press for a change in the law. The march organizers support President Barack Obama’s call for a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines as well as for universal background checks for gun sales.

They also want lawmakers to require gun safety training for all buyers of firearms.