March for Change

It’s been two months since the tragedy at Sandy Hook. Solving gun violence in America is a multifaceted issue. Many things need to change. But gun reform is fresh in my mind after attending the March for Change in Hartford this morning.

Thousands of people flooded the Capital Building. Dozens of buses from all over the state shuttled people to the event. People clothed themselves in green, in support of Sandy Hook. Posters were held high in peaceful support of gun reform.

Just to be clear, we’re not talking about responsible gun owners here:  the family that chooses to protect their home with guns, the farmer who needs to protect his harvest, the hunter who is providing food for his family, etc.  I have relatives who have proudly served our country in wars dating back to the Civil War; including my dad, my uncle and my grandfather. Certain weapons just do not belong in the hands of every day civilians. We have the right to bear arms; our children have a right to safety in our schools.

We need change. The time is now.

Here’s what has been proposed, as common sense gun laws:

  • stricter background checks for the sale and transfer of guns
  • a ban on ammunition magazines holding more than 10 bullets 
  • expanding an existing ban on military-style semiautomatic rifles
  • buyback programs for those guns already out there
Today, Secretary of State, Denise Merrill spoke. She said that she knows legislators want to do the right thing, but that they are getting emails 100:1 in support of guns. We are being labeled as the silent majority, but now our voices must be heard! We need to speak up. We need to tell them that we want a vote and we want it now! I heard from many state representatives, including Governor Dannel Malloy who would support common sense guns laws. So write to your legislators today. It is so important.

The NRA has called our concerns “the Connecticut Effect.” Give it some time and it will quiet down and we can keep things as status quo. We can never forget. I don’t ever want to get so wrapped up in my every day life that I forget the feeling I had at Ana Marquez-Greene’s funeral. The feeling of despair, but also the feeling of passion. That I’m going to help make this world a better place to live in – for my children and for future generations.

We can’t forget. In her last post, Ana’s mom said,  “I don’t know too much of anything, but this I do know: if we don’t find a way to bury at least some of our differences, we will as a nation, continue to bury our children.” We need to work together, toward a peaceful solution to this problem. It is a problem and the time is now.

Many of you have heard of Vicki Soto, the first grade teacher at Sandy Hook who hid her students in her classroom and told the gunman they were in the gym. She lost her life that day protecting her students. Today, her sister Jillian spoke. She gave one scenario that made things very clear for me. And I’ll share it with you:

Imagine the five most important people in your life. (Go ahead, do it. Write the names down.)

Now imagine that you hand me that list.

Now imagine that I take your list and I cross off one name. At random. Just like that. Gone.

What would you do? 

That is the reality for 26 families. And if we do nothing, it will continue to happen. We need change. The time is now.

Newtown doesn’t want to be remembered by this tragic event,  but as a community who used this tragedy to transform the world. Love wins! Two weeks ago, my prayer was this, and it remains the same today:

“Help us not to forget, so that we can press on toward a peaceful solution. Amen.”

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