WASHINGTON - Several Newtown, Conn., residents decided to drop their usual family and work obligations Tuesday, get up at dawn and drive to Washington to meet with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
The Brady Campaign has been working for years to reform the nation's gun industry, fighting for greater regulation on weapons.
Residents of Newtown, where 20 children and six adults were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday morning, are seeking a solution to gun violence.
"We're new at this. We've just formed, and many of us, as you might expect, aren't experts," said Bill Toomey, a father of two and part of Newtown United.
Relatives of victims of the mass shooting at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater also will be there.
Toomey's son, who is in middle school, knew one of the 20 children shot to death Friday.
"It just feels so visceral and raw in our town right now," he said.
Toomey, who works in nature conservancy, was among about 75 residents who gathered Monday night at the town's library. They agreed that the school shooting was a "moment," an event so heinous that it had the potential to change the minds of powerful people whose stances on gun control might not otherwise be bent.
"This was a last minute thing, this trip, so there are only a few of us who could go (to Washington)," he said. "We have family and work obligations."
Toomey said that Newtown United members realize that they likely will have a long and difficult road ahead.
"Meeting with the people with the Brady Campaign will help us understand what has to be done and how to do it," he told CNN early Tuesday. "We just have to do something."