WASHINGTON (AP):Residents of Newtown, Connecticut, yesterday joined with parents, pastors, survivors of gun violence and Education Secretary Arne Duncan in a march on Washington for gun control .
Molly Smith, the artistic director of Washington's Arena Stage, and her partner organised 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.
"With the drum roll, the consistency of the mass murders and the shock of it, it is always something that is moving and devastating to me. And then, it's as if I move on," Smith said. "And in this moment, I can't move on. I can't move on.
"I think it's because it was children, babies," she said. "I was horrified by it."
While she's never organised a political march before, Smith said she was compelled to press for a change in the law.
The march organisers 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.
As a theatre person, Smith said murdering a child is something you can never show in theatre. Even in the Greek tragedy, Medea, the main character kills her children, but that happens off stage, Smith said.
After the Connecticut shootings, Smith posted something on Facebook and drew more support to do something.
The group One Million Moms for Gun Control, the Washington National Cathedral and two other churches eventually signed on to co-sponsor the march.
Organisers raised more than $46,000 online to pay for equipment and fees to stage the rally.