(Sarah Clements, daughter of a Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher Abbey Clements and Carlos Soto, brother of teacher Victoria Soto who was killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, ridee a bus to Washington DC on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, for the National Vigil for Gun Violence Victims. (John Brecher / NBC News) )

Carlos Soto, other Newtown relatives, honor their families and call attention to gun violence

The relatives of some of the 26 children and adults killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting last year in Newtown, Connecticut gathered in the nation’s capital to remember their loved ones and draw attention to the tens of thousands of Americans who are victims of gun violence every year.  NBC News senior writer Miranda Leitsinger spoke to the families, including Carlos Soto, as she reports in nbcnews.com:

None of that dissuades Carlos Soto, the 16-year-old brother of slain Sandy Hook teacher, Vicki, whom he described as a second mom. The high school junior has traveled nine times to Washington, D.C., to push for gun control and works with several groups on that mission. He gives speeches on the issue, too.

“I want it (Sandy Hook) to be seen as … the turning point in gun reform because that’s what it truly is,” he said.”

He said his family was honoring the legacy of his sister with their activism. But her death takes an ongoing toll, he said, noting how hard it would be to spend another Christmas without her.

“I don’t think anyone’s ever OK after something like this,” he said. “We all just learn to live the new life that we live and learn to cope with what happened.”

One year after the December 14 shooting, a new NBC News/WSJ poll found that support for stricter gun-control measures has dropped to its lowest level since the tragic event. Fifty-two percent of Americans now say they want stricter laws covering the sale of firearms. By comparison, 38 percent think gun laws should remain the same, and another 8 percent say they should be less strict.

Soto, as well as others from different parts of the country, including Oakland, California, spoke on camera to NBC News multimedia producer John Brecher on their efforts to highlight the need to stem gun violence.

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