MARCH FOR CHANGE, a bi-partisan, action-driven grassroots effort started by two Fairfield County-area moms following the December 14th shootings in Newtown, CT, today announced a Valentine’s Day rally to demand change in common sense gun laws in the state of Connecticut on Thursday, February 14, at 11 AM at the State Capitol.
Angry and afraid in the wake of the shootings in nearby Newtown, Fairfield Country mothers Nancy Lefkowitz and Meg Staunton had the same reaction: “Something has to change and what are we going to do about it?”
MARCH FOR CHANGE began as a casual gathering around Lefkowitz’s kitchen table for a few friends seeking solace following the devastating news. Their efforts quickly mushroomed into an activation meeting two days later at a local church with over 250 people in attendance, including elected officials, community leaders and Congressman Jim Himes.
Working in partnership with CT Against Gun Violence (www.cagv.org and www.facebook.com/connecticutagainstgunviolence), a Connecticut non-profit organization dedicated to reducing gun violence through a common sense approach to public education and legislative advocacy, Lefkowitz and Staunton, along with a network of determined parents, presented an action plan with three initial goals:
1. Sign a petition at www.demandaplan.org;
2. Call the White House to demand change in the gun laws at the national level; and
3. March in Hartford to support common sense gun laws in Connecticut, including a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Whatever the ultimate language in the bill, Lefkowitz and Staunton assert that the MARCH FOR CHANGE will bring together a coalition of supporters and advocates, already over 1000 strong, to demand passage of comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation.
“In Connecticut, we are fourth in the country in terms of the strength of our gun laws, but we can do better,” said Lefkowitz. “There is a moment and that moment is right now. Something is broken and we need to make profound change.”
"After the unthinkable Newtown tragedy, the people have reached the tipping point. We are working to put together the most comprehensive anti-gun violence legislation in America," said Ron Pinciaro, Executive Director of CT Against Gun Violence. He continued, “Connecticut will become the template and the other states can follow our lead.”
Staunton added, “All eyes are on Connecticut, we can no longer be passive participants in this process. The politicians aren’t doing what we need them to and the opposition is loud and strong. As parents interested in the safety and wellbeing of our children, the time has come to be louder and stronger. We must demand that our legislators pass rational, common sense gun laws.”
“When we started this effort, we understood that people may have a different point of view, but I think we can all agree that we want to keep our kids safe. We are fighting to enact change what we believe are common sense laws that will do just that,” declared Staunton. Lefkowitz emphasized, “We don’t want to fight guns with more guns. We need everyone that wants safer gun laws to join us in Hartford this Valentine’s Day. Our hearts are broken and now is the time to let our voices be heard.”
Individuals and organizations interested in participating in the MARCH FOR CHANGE can learn more at www.marchforchange.org.