Hundreds of protesters in Washington, DC have rallied at the Capitol Hill office of the National Rifle Association (NRA) to deplore the powerful pro-gun lobby group and press for tougher gun control laws.
Chanting “Shame on the NRA,” the demonstrators, who participated in the protest rally on Monday in reaction to Friday’s killing of 27 people, including 20 elementary school pupils, in Newtown, Connecticut, marched from Spirit of Justice Park in the US capital to the NRA offices near Congressional office buildings surrounding the legislative Capitol building.
After observing a customary moment of silence, the protesters then read off the names of the very young victims of the Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting rampage.
“We’re here because, quite frankly, the NRA has blood on its hands,” said Josh Nelson, one of the organizers of the protest for CREDO Action, a liberal activist group, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
Among the signs carried by the protesters were ones that read, “Arms are for hugging: Gun control now” and “I support the Second Amendment – I also support a ban on assault weapons.”
“The National Rifle Association is a powerful lobby that purports to represent gun owners,” Becky Bond, political director of CREDO, said in a written statement quoted in the report. “But in reality, it represents the deadly interests of arms dealers and gun manufacturers. It’s time for the NRA’s top lobbyists to stand down and stop trying to prevent Congress from enacting sensible gun control laws that could save lives.”
Rivaling the powerful pro-Israeli lobby group in Washington, American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC), the NRA is another one of the dominating political pressure institutions in the US capital that has fervently, and successfully, lobbied American lawmakers to oppose any gun-control laws.
During their recent 2012 political campaigning before November’s presidential and congressional elections, Republican and Democratic politicians in the US, including President Barack Obama, refused to address the country’s weak gun control laws despite several instances of mass killings that occurred during the months leading up to the Election Day.
Monday’s hastily arranged protest rally is widely expected to be followed by more massive demonstrations in angry response to Newtown’s mass killings, as many believe that the school shooting may serve as a turning point in the national debate over the freedom to carry firearms.