There are 7000 pairs of shoes outside the Capitol. Here's why

Thousands of shoes line the lawn outside the U.S. Capitol, representing children killed by gun violence since the sandy hook school shooting.

The group said in a statement that they collected 7,000 pairs of shoes for the memorial to bring "the heartbreak of gun violence to Congress' doorstep".

A press release published by Avaaz said the 7,000 shoes will help keep national attention on gun control as the March 24 protest approaches.

Gun violence has claimed the lives of 7,000 children in the years since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which left 26 people dead. Actresses Susan Sarandon and Bette Midler, and talk show host Chelsea Handler were among shoe donors. Organizer Emma Ruby-Sachs said she thinks it's a pivotal moment for the movement to end gun violence.

The shoes are from family members of victims, as well as celebrities, and others from across the country. Approximately five years and three months passed between the Sandy Hook shooting and the demonstration; in that period of time by those figures, the number of children killed by guns would be roughly 6,825.

Numerous proposals favoured by gun control advocates, including a ban on assault-style weapons and the closing of loopholes on requiring background checks before gun purchases, are fiercely opposed by the National Rifle Association and its supporters.

A nationwide school walkout is planned across the United States on Wednesday to demand an assault weapons ban, universal background checks on gun purchases, and legislation that would allow courts to disarm people who display warning signs of violent behaviour.

Calls for gun reform have intensified in the wake of the mass shooting at Parkland, Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month, when 19-year-old gunman Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students and school staff.

Vanessa Coleman