Young Voices Mobilize Against Gun Violence, Will It Last?

Hundreds of communities across the country participated in student-organized rallies against gun violence. In Hartford, Mayor Joe Ganim attended a rally there with city school students and Chief Administrative Officer Kim Staley. See video above. Will the young voices sustain the movement? More from the CT Mirror:

The March for Our Lives attracted thousands of students and supporters from Connecticut and hundreds of thousands from across the nation demanding change–not only in the nation’s gun laws but the makeup of Congress.

The massive protest, which was echoed in 800 communities in the United States and abroad, was organized by students after 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., last month.

But it also mobilized activists who have been fighting gun violence since 20 schoolchildren and six educators were slaughtered in Newtown a little more than five years ago.

David Stowe, a founder of the Newtown Action Alliance, said the organization, working with Sandy Hook Promise, filled eight buses with 450 marchers, including more than 200 students from Newtown High School.

Full story here.



  1. Joe Ganim is now worse than US Senator Richard Blumenthal, everything is about photo-op for Ganim because people of color knows that Ganim hasn’t done a dam thing for them so needs to be seen looking like he’s concerns, what a phony.

  2. Since the killing of 20 children and six adults in Sandy Hook in 2013 there have been 290 school shootings. I personally thought the killing of these young innocent children would start a movement of change in America that would once and for all deal with gun violence, but like America I was wrong.

    It appears as if no one cares until the ugly face of gun violence touches you personally with the killing of a family member or friend. We must admit that we have a problem that we want to solve. Because if we don’t start now, we’ll all be waiting like sitting ducks for the next psycho with too many guns, accessories and ammo to pick off our friends, family and children one by one. You’ll face a direct hit. Then you’ll care.

    1. 90% of the people that marched on Saturday are 18 years and older. They are motivated and engaged. The NRA and its  GOP puppets on Capitol Hill are clearly worried. Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) mocked the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting:

      “This is how you look when you claim Cuban heritage yet don’t speak Spanish and ignore the fact that your ancestors fled the island when the dictatorship turned Cuba into a prison camp after removing all weapons from its citizens, hence their right to self defense,” his Facebook page posted alongside a picture of 17-year-old Emma Gonzalez.

      Ms. Gonzalez and her peers are making history. The National Rifle Association and the GOP are threatened by this. This group of young people are going to change the political culture of America, force Congress to pass meaningful gun control legislation because their lives are threatened by the availability of firearms in this nation. 

  3. The NRA has 5 million lost souls in their membership. These 5 million are spending millions buying off politician who then refuse to pass meaningful legislation.
    If these 5 million people are interested in saving our children why are they giving money to the NRA who in turn lobby politicians not to pass laws against guns. To me those 5 million are just as guilty as the guys pulling the triggers

    1. To blame an organization that works harder than any other to protect one of the many constitutional rights we have and not blame the actual folks in charge of protecting the citizens of this country is not only ignorant but it is purely the reaction those opposed to guns want you to have. You sir are being played.

      The FBI was informed, local police were informed and visited the suspect multiple times. They did nothing. In fact it was local policy to not arrest so that the arrest rate for juveniles in Broward County would be at an acceptable level. Why no outrage? Why no calls for law enforcement to enact policies that protect rather than make departments look good on paper?

      Since this horrible shooting that law enforcement in Broward County could have prevented, there have been two instances of law enforcement doing their job and preventing further violence in similar situations. Where is the celebration of these heroes? Where is the acknowledgement that firearms were used to prevent an individual from harming others?

      How dare you blame citizens that follow laws, actively participate in their government and feel their rights being threatened on a daily basis. Zero NRA members have been mass shooters.

      Turn the tables here. All the people that are suddenly on this March for Our Lives kick are a bunch of sheep.

      1. The threat to the second amendment is magnified by the NRA. Your organization has fought every attempt to make changes in the law from bump stocks to AR15’s. BTW when is the last time someone went hunting with an AR15. I have to go but will finish this later

      2. The NRA is directly responsible for blocking any meaningful regulation of firearms. They bribe conservative politicians with juicy campaign contributions, blackmail them with the threat of voter outrage. Were it not for well heeled lobbying by the NRA and Onald Trump the mentally ill would not be able to possess firearms. Were it not for the NRA the assault weapons ban would have been extended.

        The right to life is not secondary to your right to own a motherfucking AR-15.

        1. Did the NRA and President Trump prevent the FBI from doing their job and arresting this kid? Did the NRA and President Trump prevent the Broward County Sheriff Department from doing their job both before and during the shooting?

          What exactly does the NRA have to do with those failures of law enforcement? How does calling for more laws fix that issue?

          I don’t remember cursing in a previous post, but if your emotions run so high, perhaps the mentally unstable should have greater restrictions on more than just the 2nd amendment…

          1. No point in rehashing the failures of the system to stop Nikolas Cruz. The system failed to stop Tamarlan Tsarnaev. He and his brother Dzhokhar detonated pressure cooker bombs at the finish line of the 2913 Boston Marathon.

  4. NRA members are one-issue voters: gun rights and that’s it. The organization uses campaign donations as bribery, the bllot box as blackmail. That’s how Wayne La Pierre and company keep lawmakers in line. It will not work as well after the March For Our Lives.
    In 1994 Congress oassed gun control legislation that Bill Clinton signed into law. Several Senators and Representatives were voted out of office for it. The high school students and the adults That marched yesterday are going to be a voting bloc to contend with this November. Republican Senators and Representatives will be voted put of office for NOT passing gun control legislation.

    1. One issue voters? What a quaint idea you have of folks that actually care about the constitution and our rights. It’s convenient to think of us that way, but it’s not accurate or honest – though those aren’t traits we commonly attribute to the left anyway, so no surprise there.

      Remember how convinced you folks were that Hillary was going to win? I wouldn’t be so certain that Republicans are getting voted out of office. These teenagers and the various political organizations behind them that created this massive financial effort to lead these protests yesterday are just carving up the diminishing group of voters they already have. Not one single conservative sees something like yesterday and says, “you know what, those folks are right, I’ll just throw out all the issues I believe in and start giving my votes to Democrats so they can tax me and take my rights away.”

      1. Penfield, you appear to be a reader of OIB and other print but perhaps have not posted here in a while? You would argue against the suggestion that you are a one issue voter but mention no other part of the Constitution that gets you excited? Is there any part of what purports to be gun legislation, currently in force in CT or proposed, that you are comfortable with? How do you feel about right to speak, right to vote, etc.? Where do they stand with respect to the Second Amendment? Time will tell.

        1. Since when does one need to enumerate all the other issues they support when discussing a particular issue at hand?

          Of course there are constantly issues to discuss and rights to defend; democracy is an ongoing project. We can discuss all sorts of violations and needs for either less government intrusion or greater regulation, but that would require a different conversation all together. Correct?

          1. A little defensive, eh? The Second Amendment is the only part of the Constitution that matters to Wayne La Pierre and the NRA. Your right to own a gun and that’s it, public safety be damned.

            Guess what, Penfield? The rest of us are tired of living in fear of a whack job with s gun. 52 dead in Las Vegas, God knows how many wounded. Seventeen high school students dead in Parkland, Florida. But none of that matters. It’s all colateral damage, secondary to your right to own a goddamned motherfucking firearm. The NRA made it possible for psychpaths and sociopaths to own guns. Nikolas Cruz took his AR-15 to school for show and tell.

      2. “You folks”? Oh please. This is not about Hillary Clinton, not about the NRA, it is not about abolishing the Second Amendment. It is about making the nation safe from random indiscriminate gun violence. Wayne La Pierre and the National Ifle Association would have us believe the March for Our Lives was all about taking your orecious guns away. It was and us not. Many of the speakers at Saturday’s march in Washington DC came from Parkland, Florida, znewtown, Connecticut, and Chicago, people whose lives have been traumatized by gun violence. Enough is enough. Gun violence is a weekly tragedy in Bridgeport.

        We’re not going to humor your dialogue which is clearly informed by NRA rhetoric.

          1. Shut up and go away, Penrod. You’re not contributing to the conversational thread, not in a positive way.

      3. Penfield,

        According to Wayne La Pierre “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” There was a good guy with a gun at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a uniformed police officer. He turned out to be a pussy, cowering outside the school while Nikolas Cruz murdered seventeen people.

  5. To close out the rally, Emma Gonzalez, a Parkland survivor who has become one of the main faces of this movement, delivered an impassioned speech in which she named each of the 17 victims. Then, as tears streamed down her face, Gonzalez defiantly held the stage in silence for the duration of more than six minutes, the amount of time the gunman carried out his deadly assault on her high school. Protesters chanted “never again.” Then, a timer beeped.

    “Since the time that I came out here, it has been six minutes and 20 seconds,” Gonzalez said. “The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”

  6. From the Connecticut Mirror:

    “David Stowe, a founder of the Newtown Action Alliance, said the organization, working with Sandy Hook Promise, filled eight buses with 450 marchers, including more than 200 students from Newtown High School.

    “’We’ve always felt we had an outsized voice,’ Stowe said. ‘Before Newtown, there was no infrastructure to promote change.’

    “The push for stricter gun laws came out of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.  While Connecticut and other states — the latest being Florida — have taken new steps to regulate firearms, the federal government has done little.

    “Marchers are frustrated by what they say is the inaction of adults, especially politicians, who offer thoughts and prayers in the wake of school shootings but fail to pass legislation that protect kids from gun violence. They hope these marches will provide momentum for change ahead of the upcoming midterm elections.”

  7. Washington DC Police Department estimates there were more than 200,000 people attending the March for Our Lives last Saturday, more than attended the inauguration of Donald J. Trump. 90% of the were of voting age. They weren’t demanding the abolishment of the Second Amendment.

    Rick Santorum (R), former Senator of Pennsylvania, suggested the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, learn CPR instead of demanding adults change gun laws, presumably in case there’s another shooting at their school. The NRA has initiated a propaganda campaign, spreading misinformation, circulating doctored photos and generally taking the low road.

    Looks to me as though they are running scared, frightened by a bunch of media-savvy and politically aware teenagers.

  8. Penfield Light,

    Dig this:

    Police and city officials counted more than 200,000 marchers at the largest March For Our Lives demonstration, on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington (more than Donald J. Trump’s inauguration). Another 175,000 people took to the streets in Manhattan, according to New York City police.

    Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg and other victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have shown themselves to be a sociopolitical force to be reckoned with, voices that will not be silenced by adults that have placed the Second Amendment over the lives of American citizens. 

    The NRA and its puppets on Capitol Hill have gone on the offensive. Former Senator Rick Santorum ( R-PA.) suggested the young people should learn CPR instead of protesting for gun regulation, presumably in the event of another mass shooting at the school. The NRA is circulating doctored photos showing Ms. Gonzalez tearing up a copy of the U.S. Constitution. Shame on them. 

    The NRA and the gun lobby has already signalled they will take legal action challenging a ban on bump stocks, the modification that  enabled Stephen Paddock to fire more than 1,100 rounds of ammunition in ten minutes, killing 58 and injuring 851, many seriously.

    Just putting it out there…

    1. The Soros funded march certainly had a gathering of interested and motivated people. I applaud them for using their right to assembly to support the cause the believe in. I too was once out in the streets of Washington with even more significant numbers in protest to the looming war with Iraq – to no avail.

      However, since when do we in a representative democratic republic make changes to the Constitution based on the demonstrated desire of roughly 1% of the population. 375,000 looks like a large number, unfortunately it’s just not that significant statistically.

      I get that you are emotional about this, as evidenced by your continued use of profanity in a civil discussion, but you’re emotions have no place in policy.

      You want to make this about the NRA constantly, and then you claim I am a one issue voter, but outside of the boogeyman of Wayne LaPierre, is it possible, just maybe, that the American people don’t believe repealing the 2nd Amendment is a good idea? If you are going to cite polling data, please also consider that there were very few polls that got the 2016 election correct. What changes have the polling institutions made to their data collection methods that restores their credibility? Why are they to be cited with accuracy today when less than two years ago they were so incorrect on a rather significant piece of data?

      The kids are being coached. The media is making them out to be the Mockingjay and promoting only the voices that agree with the current narrative being pushed by CNN and the like. The voices of students that experienced the exact same tragedy and are not anti-gun, anti-second amendment, are not being given the microphone at these events or on television.

      Try to get over your emotions and look beyond what the talking heads want you to believe.

      Do you actually suppose that a repeal of the 2nd amendment will do anything to end gun violence? Seriously? What do you propose? Repeal the amendment and then what? A door to door round up of the 300 million plus guns in the country?

      No one wants people to be killed in this country, that’s a given, to assume otherwise is ridiculous. It’s also ridiculous to tell the government to take away your Constitutional rights. Please provide an example where that has worked out favorably for the population in the history of civilization?

  9. Remington Firearms just filed for bankruptcy protection, a casualty of the NRA’s defence of the Second Amendment.  

    After the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Orrin Hatch and other Republican legislators offered “thoughts and prayers” as if petitioning a Supreme Being was gonna make it all better. After a gunman went in to Sandy Hook Elementary School to murder twenty school children and six adults they offered another round of “thoughts and prayers.” Gee, thanks. You guys are swell. After a gunman shot up the hallways of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, they offered, you guessed it, “thoughts and prayers.” Donald J. Trump had a listening session at the White House attended by parents of children murdered at Sandy Hook, victims of gun violence in Chicago, Orlando and Parkland, Florida. It was a photo op. Mr. Trump, bored by having to look “presidential,” offered noncommittal boilerplate rhetoric. At least he didn’t offer “thoughts and prayers.” 

    This time those thoughts and prayers were answered. Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg and other survivors organized the March For Our Lives which drew more than a million attendees around the nation. Sure, a few adults helped with the logistics but the impetus came from the students. No one ‘coached’ them. (How can you coach someone to watch their friends being shot to death?) They seized their moment, a moment that has blossomed into a movement. 90% of the marchers are eighteen years and older. Over the summer many of the remaining 10% will celebrate their eighteenth birthdays by registering to vote. The GOP’s control of the  House of Representatives was in doubt well before March 24th. Now it is a forgone conclusion the party will lose its majority in the House and most likely the Senate as well, all because of those pesky “thoughts and prayers.” This is what happens when an obsolete Constitutionsl Amendment is prioritized over public safety. 

    It’s not surprising the NRA is on the offensive. Disappointing but not surprising. Unable to justify its existence you dismiss the MFOL as “funded by [George] Soros.” At least the money isn’t bloodstained. You criticize me for employing profanity. Hey bud, I am who I am. My literary skills are considerably more sophisticated than yours. You take exception not with what I say but how I say it. If you don’t like what I have to say and how I say it well hey, that’s just too bad for you, too fucking bad. Your obtusion and milk-and-water platitudes are meaningless. 

    Come November the National Rifle Association’s influence on Capitol Hill will ebb. But don’t fret. I’m sure there will be a grandfather clause  that will allow you to keep and cherish your precious guns. 


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