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Gun control advocates march in Washington

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AFP | Getty Images
Movita Johnson-Harrell (left) is among a group of marchers holding placards devoted to specific victims of gun violence as gun control proponents march on Saturday, Jan. 26 in Washington.

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By The Associated Press
Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, 7:58 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Thousands of people, including about 100 residents of Newtown, Conn., joined a rally for gun control on Saturday, marching from the Capitol to the Washington Monument.

Leading the crowd were marchers with “We Are Sandy Hook” signs, paying tribute to victims of the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Participants held signs reading “Gun Control Now,” “Stop NRA” and “What Would Jesus Pack?” among other messages.

Kara Baekey, who's from Norwalk, Conn., said that when she heard about the shooting in which 20 students were killed, she immediately thought of her two young children. She said she decided she must take action, and that's why she traveled to Washington for the march.

“I wanted to make sure this never happens at my kids' school or any other school,” Baekey said. Once the crowd arrived at the monument, speakers called for a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition and for universal background checks on gun sales.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the crowd it's not about taking away Second Amendment gun rights, but about gun safety and saving lives. He said he and President Obama would do everything they could to enact gun control policies.

“This is about trying to create a climate in which our children can grow up free of fear,” Duncan said.

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