LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Gun control advocates held a series of vigils around the Southland Saturday to protest the mass shooting in Connecticut Friday that left 28 people dead.

Brittney Hopper, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, went to vigils being held outside the Wilshire Federal Building, one downtown and another in Studio City.

People who turned out held candles and held signs. They told Hopper they were there to shed light on the need for new, tougher gun laws.

At the Wilshire vigil, people displayed many pairs of children’s shoes. The shoes represented the 5, 6 and 7-year-olds (20 in all) killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Hopper spoke to Suzanne Verge, of the Brady Campaign. She was one of the vigil’s organizers. Her brother was murdered two weeks before Christmas when she was 15.

“It’s time for us to put politics aside,” said Verge, “It’s time to come together, sit down and come up with solutions. We have to take action. We cannot have another tragedy like this. We’ve had too many.”

The Violence Prevention Coalition says that death by firearms is the leading cause of death for people aged 15-34.

At the Studio City rally, Elizabeth Reaginsburger, a mother of two, said “I am so scared now. I am filled with so much fear.”

Rally organizers urged people to call their Congressional members to lobby on behalf of gun control and reform.

Laurie Saffian of Women Against Gun Violence said, “We need some significant, yet common sense, gun regulations to prevent future tragedies.”

Hopper said she tried to contact a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association or local gun shop owners or gun clubs for an opposing opinion, but no one wanted to comment.


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