Hundreds protest outside NRA headquarters following Florida school shooting

Protesters called for gun reform outside NRA headquarters in Virginia on Friday.

Among the attendees were friends of some of the 17 students and teachers who were killed in Parkland, Florida, as well as Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and relatives of those shot and killed at Virginia Tech in 2007.

"Children are dead because of you," Connolly said of the NRA, in comments reported by Washington, D.C. ABC affiliate WJLA.

One of the attendees at the vigil was the friend of Nicholas Dworet, a 17-year-old senior at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, who was killed in Wednesday's shooting. Dworet had committed to the University of Indianapolis swim team.

"I'm burying my best friend next week," the teen, who did not want to be identified, told WJLA. "I cheered with these people and I cheered with one of these girls. Now I have to bury my best friend who is committed to the University of Indianapolis for swimming. I grew up with him."

Peter Reed, whose daughter Mary was among the 32 people killed in a shooting at Virginia Tech in April 2007, said the shooting on Wednesday brought back horrible memories.

"It very quickly takes us back to where we were in April of 2007. It's numbing. It's maddening," Read told WJLA.

The NRA says the AR-15 has "soared in popularity" because it is "customizable, adaptable, reliable and accurate" and "can be used in sport shooting, hunting and self-defense situations."

Flags were flying at half-staff outside NRA headquarters on Friday.