D.C.

Gun opponents march to put an end to the violence

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Congress is in recess this week, but that didn’t stop gun opponents from coming to Washington.

As lawmakers prepare to vote on new gun control measures, Episcopal bishops and hundreds of faithful from around the country descended on the nation’s capital to demand an end to the violence.

Hundreds walked in a snowy rain down Pennsylvania Avenue Monday in a modern-day Stations of the Cross this Holy Week before Easter to demand an end to gun violence.

“We preside at funerals all the time,” says Bishop Mariann Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. “We’re tired of presiding at funerals of children and of young people who are gunned down.”

Among those taking part were clergy and residents of Newtown, Conn., where gun violence has been a heartbreaking reality. Three months after the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre, Congress is preparing to vote on the most sweeping gun control measures in a generation. Both sides are bracing for a fight.

The Senate bill includes expanded background checks for all gun purchases, tough penalties for gun trafficking, and more money for school safety. It does not include a ban on assault-style weapons.

A new ad campaign by Mayors Against Illegal Guns is targeting lawmakers home for spring break. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pumped $12 million of his own money into it.

Gun rights advocates say that won’t solve the problem, but it’s at least a start.

“We want to say to our nation and to the world that the killing in our streets and in our schools needs to stop,” says Bishop Ian Douglas of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut.

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