TAMPA (FOX 13) - Five years ago, 26 people lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. A gunman stormed the school, killing 20 children and six school staff members.
A group in Tampa held a vigil Wednesday night to honor and remember the victims.
This group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense America, says that holding vigils and lighting candles isn't enough because mass shootings keep happening. They say the best way they can honor every life lost to gun violence is to keep pushing for stronger laws.
"Jack Pinto, 6 years old."
"Jesse Lewis 6 years old."
"Benjamin Wheeler, age 6."
"Vicki Soto, first-grade teacher."
The names of all 26 shooting victims, most between ages 6 and 7, were read out loud. A candle was lit for each life taken away.
Delia Gadson, principal at Anderson Elementary, attended the vigil.
"As a principal, hearing the names today, I know without a doubt, I would sacrifice my life for my kids and my teachers," said Gadsen.
This vigil, organized by the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense America, is one of more than 200 happening around the country. They're Second Amendment supporters, but calling on lawmakers to enact stronger gun laws.
"We want the people coming tonight to honor the victims of Sandy Hook and the victims of gun violence every day in America and honor those victims with action," said Wendy Malloy, the local group leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense. "We believe in law-abiding citizens being able to carry a gun but what we want is to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people."
Sadly, since Sandy Hook, history has repeated itself with mass shootings continuing to take place.
Twenty-six people were killed last month in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Fifty-eight people were killed in October in Las Vegas. And, in June of last year, 49 people were killed at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.
These events are painful to remember. but crucial to never be forgotten.
"Our kids is our future and so we never can get to the place where we forget these things because that's what helps us prevent these things from happening," said Elvis Piggott. "I stand with the family, I stand with them in prayer and know that God will, in time, heal their broken heart."
Malloy said that making a change on the federal level doesn't happen overnight.
But they're making progress on the local and state level. She said one big victory for their cause came Wednesday with State Attorney Andrew Warren announcing a new effort to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.