EL PASO, Texas - Several hundred volunteers for groups seeking tougher laws on guns marched on the White House and the Capitol in a demonstration at least partly inspired by the shooting in El Paso, Texas.
In the Texas border city, a gunman opened fire Saturday morning in a shopping area packed with thousands of people during the busy back-to-school season, killing 22 and injuring more than two dozen, many of them critically. The shooting was being investigated as a possible hate crime as authorities worked to confirm whether a racist, anti-immigrant screed posted online shortly beforehand was written by the man arrested in the attack on the 680,000-resident border city.
Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, told The Associated Press that volunteers from her group and Students Demand Action marched Saturday to make a point to federal lawmakers. The groups, wearing their traditional red T-shirts, are pushing for Senate action on a background checks bill for people wanting to buy a gun that passed the House earlier this year.
Activists with the organization "Moms Demand Action" urge congressional action outside the White House. (FOX 5 Washington DC)
Amber Gustafson, a volunteer leader for the Moms group, said they were already at a national meeting in Washington when they heard about El Paso. They decided to take their protest to the White House.
Gustafson said they work with groups at all levels of government, but "we need a federal remedy."
Just hours after the El Paso shooting, a gunman wearing body armor and carrying extra magazines opened fire in a popular nightlife area, killing nine and injuring at least 27 people in Dayton, Ohio.
The Saturday shooting in El Paso and the Sunday shooting in Dayton were the 21st and 22nd mass killings of 2019 in the U.S., according to the AP/USA Today/Northeastern University mass murder database that tracks homicides where four or more people killed -- not including the offender.
Including the two latest attacks, 127 people had been killed in the 2019 shootings