Anthony Brooks

“Wow, look at this room,” Ayanna Pressley said to a diverse crowd of cheering Democratic supporters in Cambridge this past weekend. “This looks like the 7th Congressional District!”

That was more than just an applause line, because it explains a big part of how Pressley scored an upset victory last week over 10-term U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano.

More than three weeks after a school shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead, students are demanding that Congress pass tougher gun laws, but so far U.S. lawmakers have failed to act.

In the absence of federal action, gun control advocates are urging states to take up the fight — and point to Connecticut as a successful model. After the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School more than five years ago, the state passed some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and advocates say they’re working.

Mark Barden lost his 6-year-old son, Daniel, at Sandy Hook. Greg Gibson lost his son, Galen, precisely 20 years before Sandy Hook at a school shooting in western Massachusetts. When the two dads met, they discovered not only that their sons died on the same calendar day, in the same horrible way, but that their boys also shared the same birthday.

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