Gun Control Advocates Protest at NRA Offices

People who feel the NRA is preventing Congress from passing new gun control regulations protested outside the association’s Capitol Hill offices Monday.

"We're here today because the NRA has blood on its hands," said Josh Nelson, of CREDO action.

The group CREDO Action organized a march on Capitol Hill to the NRA Federal Affairs Office.

“And demand that they stand down and get out of the way so Congress can pass gun control that will save lives,” Nelson said.

News4’s attempts to talk to someone at the offices before the demonstration arrived failed. A neighbor said no one was in the office Monday.

The marchers chanted “Shame on the NRA!” and read the names of the 26 victims killed Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. They say the NRA works to defeat any politician that doesn't support the right to own guns.

“I'm protesting the NRA’s lobbying efforts to keep assault rifles in the hands of the American public and also for their campaigning against any common sense gun control measures,” said Jason Gooljar, of Arlington, Va.

He said he was among about 10 people who protested in front of the building after the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., over the summer.

“I'm glad more people have shown up,” he said. “Unfortunately it takes an incident like this to get more people mobilized.”

Some of the protesters were taking a position on gun control for the first time because of the shootings in Connecticut.

“There's a great protection for unborn babies and there’s no protection for once the babies get here,” Karen Cantor said. “Something's wrong with this picture.”

Others have been fighting over the issue for a long time.

“I’m a victim of gun violence,” Eddie Weingart. “In 1981, I was 2 years old. My mother was slain by her ex-husband with a 12-gauge shotgun. It ended her life. I was an eyewitness to that, and he then turned the gun on me. Fortunately, the gun malfunctioned. This is why I'm here today. This is why I'm at all these events.”

D.C. public school teacher Maggie Bertke used her planning period to attend the march.

“I think that in times of crisis, kids need to see that the adults around them are taking action and that we can do something and that we can take it in our hands to try to make changes happen,” she said.

Not everyone agrees. A worker nearby heard the demonstrators and showed up to express another view.

"And it breaks my heart what happened in Connecticut,” NRA supporter Larry Ward said. “It absolutely tears me apart, but the truth is there's more than the gun control answer for this problem, and perhaps the answer is to allow teachers and principals and other people to defend themselves.”

The NRA took down it's Facebook page and hasn't tweeted since the shootings in Connecticut. The NRA told News4 via email that it is not granting interviews or making any statements Monday.

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