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.