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Dramatic gun control display on the National Mall

Thursday - 4/11/2013, 9:42am  ET

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A gun-control group set up 3,000 crosses on the National Mall Thursday morning, each representing a person who died from gun violence since the Sandy Hook massacre. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)

Nick Iannelli, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Gun control advocates are launching a new push for legislative action through a striking display along the National Mall.

With the Capitol building as a backdrop, organizers set up more than 3,000 crosses in the ground Thursday.

"Each one commemorates a life that has been lost since the massacre at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut," explains Tim King, an organizer with Sojourners.

As the Senate grows closer to a possible deal regarding broader background checks for gun sales, King hopes the vigil will draw more attention to the issue.

"Laws give structure to our society, and we need legislative change."

Speakers on the docket include religious leaders from Newtown, the site of the December massacre that left 20 children dead.

They will ask lawmakers to act.

"They are also calling for changes in our hearts and in our communities," says King.

People who set up the display along the mall include groups and individuals personally affected by gun violence.

"It's something we live with," says Angela Strange with DC Parkview Kid Zone, a nonprofit that works with inner-city children in the District.

"Gun violence is something everyone in our community has had to deal with in one way or another."

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