More than 50 faith groups participated in the Million Mom March, an event which attracted an estimated 500,000 people to the U.S. capital on May 14, Mothers' Day, to demand tougher laws on the ownership and use of guns.In addition, smaller marches took place in more than 65 cities across the US.Ranging from the African-American Women's Clergy Association and the African Methodist Episcopal Church to the American Baptist Church, USA, and the United Church of Christ, church groups organized, fed, housed and transported marchers and provided music throughout the day.Other faith groups endorsing the march included the Interfaith Alliance, the Mennonite Central Committee, the Presbyterian Church, USA, the National Council of Catholic Women, the American Jewish Committee, Church Women United, the Congress of National Black Churches, Jewish Women International, Pax Christi, USA, the Episcopal Church, USA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the National Council of Churches.Across the sea of marchers—mostly women—were many banners and posters identifying individual congregations and denominational groups.Many mass killings, including some at schools, have made gun ownership one of the most controversial issues in the US. While gun owners and manufacturers insist that every citizen has a right to self-defense, and thus to have access to firearms, opponents point to statistics showing huge numbers of deaths brought about by a proliferation of gun ownership. According to statistics released at the march, in 1997 a total of 32,436 people in the US were killed by guns:
- 17,566 were suicides.
- 13,522 were homicides.
- 981 were accidental shootings.
- 367 were shooting deaths of undetermined intent.
Organizers of the march made five primary ...1
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