A march in Washington in support of stricter gun control laws has drawn thousands of participants.

Vincent Gray (C), Mayor of the District of Columbia, leads a march for stricter gun control laws ( Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Speakers are calling on Congress to pass a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the crowd gathered at the Washington Monument that it's not about taking away Second Amendment rights, but about gun safety and saving lives.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton told the crowd that the gun lobby can be stopped, and added: "We are all culpable if we do nothing now." The rally was organized in response to the massacre of 20 first-graders and six teachers at a Connecticut elementary school last month.

Participants held signs reading "Ban Assault Weapons Now" and "Gun Control Now." Other signs carried names of victims of gun violence.

About 100 residents of Newtown, Conn., were expected at the march. It was organized in response to the December shooting there that killed 20 first-graders and six teachers.

Kara Baekey of Norwalk, Conn., she immediately thought of her two young children when she heard about the shooting. She said she decided she must take action, and that's why she joined Saturday's march.

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