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    Members of Team 26 arrive at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, March 11, 2014

    Advocates Bike to Washington to Promote Gun Violence Awareness

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    A group of 26 bicyclists will ride from Newtown, Connecticut to Washington, DC to raise public awareness about gun violence.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — A group of 26 bicyclists will ride from Newtown, Connecticut to Washington, DC starting on Saturday to raise public awareness about gun violence in the United States, group Team 26 founder Monte Frank told Sputnik.

    “It’s a small community [in Newtown, Connecticut] and everybody knows each other, so living here it’s hard not to have been impacted in some way,” Frank said ahead of the third annual Sandy Hook Ride on Saturday.

    “The idea was to do a ride to honor the 26 victims that we lost in Sandy Hook, and to raise awareness about the gun violence epidemic that plagues our nation and it’s grown tremendously since then,” Frank added.

    On December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza opened fire at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, killing 20 children and six adults, including the third grade teacher of Frank’s daughter.

    Frank explained Team 26 wants to achieve a universal background check for all gun sales in the United States.

    “Ninety-one percent of Americans favor that, including a majority of households that have guns and yet congress has failed to act and in failing to act, remains complicit in the [gun] tragedies that keep occurring,” Frank noted.

    Frank also said that at least 20 other advocacy groups will speak at events that Team 26 will hold along the bike route from Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, ending in Washington, DC on Tuesday, where they will hold a press conference.

    In December 2014, the families of those who died in the Sandy Hook shooting filed a civil action lawsuit against the manufacturer of the firearm that Lanza used during the fatal attack as well its distributor and the local Connecticut gun store where the firearm was purchased.

    Public shootings have become more frequent in the United States in recent years, with Harvard researchers having estimated in October 2014 that deadly shootings have occurred on average every 64 days in the past three years.


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