ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA9) -- Across the country, groups mark a somber occasion to push their message for tighter gun laws.

A few dozen people gathered at the Iwo Jima Memorial to not only remember those lost in the Newtown shooting but also all victims killed in gun violence.

"Just the tragedy last year, I think this is something we can get behind. Common sense gun reform is long overdue," said Arlington motherBeth O'Sullivan.

On this somber anniversary some were brought to tears.

"My daughter turned six two days before the shooting."

Kim Wilkins from Falls Church channeled her emotions after Newtown by gathering her daughter's friends and creating a video.

"I wanted to show living, breathing children having fun," said Wilkins.

The message she says is to end gun violence with tighter gun laws.

The group of local moms and dads says their first priority is to push for universal background checks.

Congressman Moran says, unfortunately, that's not going to happen in the very near future.

"It's not going to happen with this Congress. No conceivable way. Maybe in a new congress in 2014 or 2016. The idea that we've lost 30 thousand people in the last year since the Newtown tragedy means we're not speaking loud enough or effective enough. We can't give up," saidCongressman Jim Moran.

Jeff Twigg says it's frustrating to see numerous mass shootings since 2007, when he broke his leg jumping out of his classroom window during the Virginia Tech massacre.

"My professor was shot and killed while barricading the door. The time to take action in a tragedy is before the tragedy, not in the middle of it," Twigg said.

"Not just Newtown but the event yesterday, it's the 28th school shooting in the last year. We've realized it's up to American moms to change the law to have allowed this to happen," saidLuisa Caro of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Mayors against Illegal Guns sponsored 50 events across 35 states on Saturday.

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