Thousands March to Support Anti-Gun Legislation

James Wright | 1/30/2013, 10:15 a.m.

Earlier during the week, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), introduced legislation to ban assault weapons but it will be an uphill battle in the Senate because Republicans and some Democrats oppose the ban.

Meanwhile, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) told those who attended that the march symbolizes that the American people are becoming more aware of the reality of death from firearms but challenged the marchers to get involved in the legislative process to change the nation's gun laws.

"Gun violence has taken on a life of its own," said Norton, 75. "There should be no more moaning. The gun lobby can be stopped and you can stop them."

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan agreed.

"This march is a starting point [to stop gun violence], not an end point," said Duncan, 49.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D) and D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) also addressed the crowd. Mendelson's colleagues, D.C. Council members Anita Bonds (D-At Large), David Grosso (I-At Large), Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), Kenyon McDuffie (D-Ward 5) and Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) also attended the march but didn't speak at the rally.

Other speakers included U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund.

Perry said that the galvanization of people for this cause reminds him of another time when children who died changed public policy.

"This reminds me of the killing of the four black girls in the Birmingham church in 1963 and that woke up the nation like the Newtown incident did," he said.