The second day of this incredible and wonderful ride begins in Parsippany, New Jersey, and it concludes in Frenchtown, NJ. North Jersey bicycle clubs will join Team 26 in Parsippany and proceed to Morristown, NJ, where they will be hosted there by Morristown Councilwoman Rebecca Feldman, who has been so instrumental in helping with the New Jersey preparations. From there Team 26 will proceed past Governor Christie's house on the way to Frenchtown, NJ for an 11:30 event. They will be welcomed in Frenchtown by Mayor Warren Cooper, and the brief ceremony will include remarks by Michael Pohle, a father who lost his son at Virginia Tech and has been instrumental in pushing for the Mayors against Gun Violence measures at the local level.
I'm involved with this for two reasons. The first is because I was asked and this is not a cause that you say no to, by any means. The second is because I wrote after Tucson, and I wrote more after Aurora, and I especially wrote after Sandy Hook in the middle of a number of personal tragedies here at Daily Kos (not to mention my own; this was ten days after Jim died) here. Here's some of what I had to say after I published the cherry-picked list ThinkProgress had published the day before:
I only remember one incident like this from my childhood and adolescence. That was the indent in Austin in the summer of 1966 when Charles Whitman, a former marine with a brain tumor, after shooting his mother, climbed the University of Texas Tower and started shooting. 17 dead (one of them decades later from the effects of the gunshot wound), 31 wounded. This was different, because, well, guns were used to murder and assassinate individual people, not to kill several people.And it hasn't, thanks to the initiative and the courage of the people of Newtown and the efforts of Team 26.
Murder and assassination. I was in the ninth grade when John F. Kennedy was shot. I was a freshman in college (taking a course in Black politics) when Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and at home for the summer when Bobby Kennedy was shot. That was FORTY-FIVE years ago. George Wallace was shot and paralyzed in 1972. Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981 by a young man from a good Republican family who did it to get Jodie Foster's attention (fat lot of good THAT did him), and Reagan's press secretary, James Brady, was paralyzed just like George Wallace in the same shooting. When did we get legislation from any of this? We got the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act TWELVE years later, and the year after that we got the assault weapons ban which expired in 2004 and still hasn't been renewed. Some states and the District of Columbia passed stronger bans on handguns, but the court case over the DC ban (Heller v District of Columbia, 2008) resulted in a decision that after 217 years said that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to own a gun. This has been interpreted to mean "as many guns as you want" too.
And yet. Any attempt to limit gun ownership is twisted into "They want to take our guns away from us." As for "guns don't kill people, people kill people?" I'll accept that if THEY accept the idea that when people decide to kill people their weapon of choice is usually a gun, and that that should have policy implications. This isn't going to go away as quickly as the shootings at Virginia Tech and Tucson did. At least I hope it isn't.
Sandy Hook Ride on Washington ~ March 9 - 12
Team 26 is a group of 26 elite cyclists who will ride from Newtown, CT to Washington, DC beginning on March 9 and arriving on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol on March 12. Along the way, we will stop in Ridgefield, CT, Frenchtown, NJ and Baltimore, MD. Our goal: to bring Newtown's message to Washington in support of common sense gun legislation.
Please join us as we follow Monte Frank, Peter Olson and the other members of Team 26 as they travel from Newtown, CT to Washington DC. Embedded blogger Becky Frank (Monte’s daughter) will be providing info and photos from the daily events.Saturday 3/9
tytalus ~ Morning kick-off 5:30am EST
LilithGardener ~ "Meet the Crew"
Glen The Plumber ~ Evening Wrap-up
LilithGardener ~ "Meet the Riders" 2pm EDT
TBD ~ Evening
times to be determined