▶ Watch Video: Gun safety group “March For Our Lives” plans mass demonstrations nationwide this weekend

Thousands of people are expected to rally in Washington D.C. and hundreds of other cities today for an event called March For Our Lives following recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde.  

Organizers of the rallies say they are tired of repeated Congressional inaction for stricter gun laws. 

“The movement is not anti-gun or pro-gun. It is pro-peace,” David Hogg told CBS News’ Caitlin Huey-Burns.

Hogg co-founded March for our Lives after surviving the 2018 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 

“Americans are tired and fed up and we don’t want to send our kids to school in bulletproof backpacks and schools that look like prisons,” said Hogg. 

In a preview of today’s anti-gun violence rally, activists laid out 2,280 schoolbooks and broken pencils on the Washington Mall – representing the number of children that have been killed by gun violence in the last 14 months. 

In recent years, gun control activism has led to some changes to gun laws at the state level, but federal legislation has long been elusive. 

“To me, the glass is half full. I am optimistic at this moment,” Kris Brown, President of The Brady Campaign, a nonprofit organization that advocates against gun violence, said. 

This week, Congress passed a broad package of bills that included raising the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle to 21, a ban on high-capacity magazines, and a “red flag” bill that would allow courts to confiscate weapons from those deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. 

Some say the bill stands no chance of passing the evenly divided Senate, but a bipartisan group of senators believes they are making progress on a narrower set of reforms. 

“I think focusing on concerns about mental health and on people with criminal background records is an obvious area where I think we can work together,” said Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas.