COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action honored survivors of gun violence with an event at Library 21C in Colorado Springs on Saturday.
Visitors were invited to create Soul Boxes -- which are small origami paper boxes -- to commemorate lives cut short by gun violence, whether as a victim of a crime, an accident, suicide, or an incident involving police.
Those boxes will be on display at the State Capitol in Denver in April.
The event was part of the observation of National Gun Violence Week, which ran from Feb. 1 - Feb. 8.
The advocacy group says more Americans have been killed in shootings already this year than most other high-income countries have in an entire year.
"Gun violence in any form leaves an enduring mark on those who have personally experienced gun violence," said Julie Carr, an organizer of the event.
Carr said it can be hard for people to really understand the impact of gun violence beyond reading statistics or news stories.
Creating a visual display, like the Soul Boxes, and putting them together in public displays helps to show the magnitude of the situation.
Survivors say being with others whose lives have been impacted by gun violence can help them to feel less alone.
"We all struggle trying to question the whys -- why did this happen, or what could I have done to prevent it, and realizing that we are helpless," said Deb Griffin. "But by coming together we support one another and recognize that as a group we may have more influence in affecting it so that other families don't have to suffer what we've been going through."
Moms Demand Action says their goal is not to make guns illegal. There are three goals for the campaign.
They hope to raise awareness of the issue of gun violence. They say many people don't want to talk about their experience, especially if it involves suicide or an accident.
They also want to educate gun owners. They say those who choose to own guns should be smart, and make sure they are storing their guns responsibly when they're not being used.
And they hope more people will recognize the signs and symptoms when a person is contemplating suicide or has suicidal ideation, in order to find help for those people.