The shoes are from family members of victims, as well as celebrities, and others from across the country. Actresses Susan Sarandon and Bette Midler, and talk show host Chelsea Handler were among shoe donors. Some participants who attended to help display the shoes lost their own children to gun violence.
Tom Mauser came to the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday dressed in gray Vans sneakers, the same ones his 15-year-old son Daniel wore when he was killed by two gunmen at Colorado's Columbine High School in 1999 along with a dozen other people.
Among the thousands of shoes, a pair of turquoise blue cowboy boots stood out.
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Calling for the shooting to be a tipping point for gun legislation, George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and companies such as Gucci have donated as much as $500,000 to support the March For Our Lives effort, which is being organized by the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety. She said open access to weapons is "giving power to trembling hands". When extrapolated to the five-year, three-month period the empty shoes protest encompasses, the number is closer to 7,460.
The event was planned by Avaaz, an worldwide advocacy group, that has done similar events before.
Global advocacy group Avaaz has coordinated a striking new display, protesting the gun violence that continues to plague the country.
The demonstration comes ahead of National Walkout Day on 14 March, where students will walk out of school for 17 minutes in honour of the 17 people who were killed at MS Douglas High School in Florida in February.