Arizonans rally for gun violence awareness

- Thousands across the nation - from San Francisco to New York City - wore orange this weekend in honor of Gun Violence Awareness Day.

Here in Phoenix, a 'Silent March' was held in front of the Arizona State Capitol building.

The shoes of victims and survivors of gun violence surrounded a tree outside the capitol.

"When you see these shoes, I want you to understand each one represents a life interrupted, whether it was somebody killed like my brother, who's right there," said Gerry Hills, part of the organization Arizonans for Gun Safety.

Organizers of the Silent March say even though the word silent is in the name, their message can be heard loud and clear.

Edie Smith lost her niece, Shannon, to random gun violence in 1999 when a stray bullet struck the 4-year-old while in her own backyard. The tragedy prompted Arizona legislature to pass Shannon's Law, a measure that made firing a gun into the air a felony.

"Shannon has become a symbol of what can happen with random gun violence, and we don't need any more symbols. We need live kids," said Smith. 

Not everyone is on board with tighter gun control. A few protestors holding sign that read "Guns save live" and "Guns = Freedom" were mixed into the crowd.

Gerry Hills has an answer to this counter-movement.

"When they say guns save lives, we know that guns take lives. Guns are supposed to do that. The data shows that a gun in the home is 5 times more likely to harm you or your family than to stop an armed intruder," Hills said.

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