Hundreds of mothers surged to the White House with other protesters Saturday evening to demand stricter gun control laws in the wake of the horrific mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, that killed at least 22 people.
The powerful, spontaneous “Moms Demand Action” demonstration was one of a series of heartfelt expressions of support and sympathy throughout the nation for the victims of the shootings at a Walmart, in which at least 26 people were injured.
Mothers hoisted signs reading “Coward Congress” and chanted: “Whose house? Our house!”
A representative of the group told The Washington Post that members were meeting nearby for a conference. When the women learned of the massacre, “the tenor and tone of the whole room changed” and participants decided to march, said one of the group’s leaders, Amber Gustafson.
“We’re fed up. It’s past time for change,” she said.
Elsewhere, people flooded social media with expressions of condolence and offers of help. Before a baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, a moment of silence was observed.
In the El Paso area, hundreds of residents lined up to donate blood for the victims of the shootings after police issued a plea that was picked up and passed along by others. One good Samaritan bought pizza to hand out to the crowds of blood donors waiting outside in the hot sun.
This story has been updated after the death toll increased Monday morning.