WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA)-- Relatives of the victims of some of the nation's worst gun massacres traveled from across the country to demand Congress and the President enact common sense gun laws.
They offered a litany of pain almost too horrible to bea. "My little brother Derrick... was riddled with bullets." "I'm here today wearing my son's shoes. They are the shoes he was wearing on April 20, 1999 when he was gunned down at Columbine High School."
Every day in America, about 32 families become new victims of gun violence.
Andrei Nikitchyuk's eight-year-old son Bear was walking toward the principal's office in Newtown. "He says he saw bullets passing by."
A teacher rescued him. "She pulled them in her own classroom and barricaded the door."
Now Nikitchyuk says Washington has to rescue America with sensible gun laws. "It's not a partisan issue. It's an issue of the safety of our children."
Some gun rights advocates say the answer is more guns, not fewer. That perhaps an armed principal might have saved lives at Sandy Hook Elementary. "So when she heard gunfire, she whips it out and takes him out before he hurts those precious children," said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Sunday.
"That is insane," responded Dan Gross of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "That's saying the only answer we have to violence is more violence."
Instead the families suggest a solution might include a renewed ban on assault rifles and closing loopholes that allow 40 percent of gun sales to go through with no background check.
"I think about my sister every time there's a shooting," says Omar Samaha of Chantilly, who lost his sister Reema at Virginia Tech. "74 percent of NRA members support universal background checks, so what are we waiting for?"
The families are convinced the slaughter of 20 innocents just before Christmas will tip the country to change.
Written and Reported by Bruce Leshan
9News Now & wusa9.com