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A Somber Valentine's Day in Hartford

March for Change Rally at State Capitol Unites Voices for Sane Gun Control

My heart is so heavy I feel the urge to take a nap and sleep it off.

This Valentine’s Day was the occasion to carry a heart weighted down. At the Connecticut State Capitol this morning, I joined some 5500 other mothers and their families, who wanted to speak in united voice to their representatives in government, to urge them to create sane gun control legislation. We thought the March for Change rally would be comforting and maybe empowering, but it was mostly sad.

Henrietta Beckman of Hartford talked about her son who was shot and killed ten years ago. When she broke down, unaccustomed to speaking to such a large gathering, her husband ran up the Capitol steps to comfort her, and she finished by saying that change must come now.

Jillian Soto, who lost her sister Victoria in the Newtown tragedy, described their early morning conversation about plotting a Christmas prank on their family, just before Vicky jumped into the car and drove off to begin her teaching day at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Robert Thompson, almost inaudible, could barely whisper the story of his son who was shot and killed in Bridgeport on his way home from a birthday party last year.

Veronique Pozner of Newtown said that among the things son Noah wrote thanks for, on the tail feathers of his turkey decoration last Thanksgiving, were electricity and his great life.

Marina Belica and Julie Flanders sang a most haunting ballad, “Return to Me,” effectively making all of us ache to see the innocent Newtown kids again.

How much pain can we endure? How many more lives must we mourn? It’s going to be a hell of a lot more, if we don’t do something about it.

Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman discussed the irony of having a national policy for voter registration, but no federal requirement for gun owners to register their weapons.

Actress Christine Baranski, who grew up in Connecticut, joined the effort. State and city elected officials pledged their political muscle to the cause.

Nancy Lefkowitz and Meg Staunton, organizers of today’s March for Change at the State Capitol, asked the collective us –rally attendees and citizens at home--to consider five minutes a day or per week, to write an email or letter to our representatives in Connecticut and Washington. They asked us to be as organized, dedicated and committed to gun control, as proponents of gun rights are.

The message was as clear as the sun was bright and snow deep in Hartford today--the responsibility is ours. Elected representatives will act only when they see their constituents demanding action. Change now.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Leslie Yager February 15, 2013 at 01:45 AM
Mary, your March for Change photos are GREAT!
consider February 15, 2013 at 02:41 AM
does not look like anything near 5000 that was reported, or was there some other rally they were reporting on
Sean M February 15, 2013 at 03:21 AM
There were not 5500 people there. I have seen the photos. 1500-1800 is much more reasonable. I have been at the Capitol when there were multi-thousands of people there and the photos from today show that the numbers are grossly exaggerated. You can see for yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOeoXbrFYKQ
Mary Knight February 15, 2013 at 03:55 AM
During event, organizers announced the number and that's what I went with
consider February 15, 2013 at 04:30 AM
Mary, these "organizers" have an agenda, and have no problem "manipulating" numbers (lying) to make themselves appear stronger
David Chesler February 15, 2013 at 05:43 AM
The subheadline on the front page said something about Sane laws. Wouldn't a law have to have some rational relationship to preventing what it is purported to prevent to be called sane? There is already a federal policy on gun registration, if we followed it: Don't infringe. What would they do with a registration list?
consider February 15, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Sane means, the intended purpose is accomplished. Almost NONE of the proposed laws would have helped on dec 14th. Most of the laws only harass las abiding gun owners. Most of the screamers are ignorant about firearms, one carrying a sign saying "ban high capacity ammunition" Those so ignorant should not be driving what laws are passed, and then there's that teeny weeny little inconvenience called the Constitution and recent rulings. we are not a democracy, the mob can go elsewhere. As a Constitutional Republic, the lawmakers have a responsibility that must transcend the purely emotional and ignorant tugs at the heartstrings
Larissa Watt February 20, 2013 at 05:27 AM
Great article and pics..

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