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My husband got an email from one of his subscriptions online about an important meeting last night at Newtown High School sponsored by the Newton Action Alliance. It was 3:00 pm. when he saw the email.  We live in Jersey City, NJ.  He read it to me and asked me if I wanted to go.  The drive was supposed to be less than two hours, plenty of time to get there.  Yes.  Let's go, I answered.  We needed to find out if we coud do more.  And so we went.  Got snared in several traffic jams, but we got there on time.  And I'm so glad we went.

The lecture hall at Newtown High School was standing room only.  Some families of the victims of Newtown were there: the Soto family whose sister was killed that day; Neil Henslin, father of little Jessie who was killed; Erica Lafferty, whose mother was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary and was killed.  You remember Erica who confronted Sen. Ayotte (R NH) last week at a town hall meeting in that state.  She exposed Ayotte for all the world to see.  Ayotte continues to fall in her approval ratings.

Newton families and their allies have formed Newton Action Alliance, connecting with other groups to engage in congressional lobbying, grassroots organization and other actions to promote reasonable gun control legislation.  They welcome everyone to participate.
You can help:  http://newtownaction.org/  They have a Facebook page.

Other victims were also in attendance:  Colin Goddard who was shot at Virginia Tech. and who now works for the Brady Campaign told his story.  He was about to quit a few weeks ago because he was so discouraged, but he sat in the Senate gallery with Sara Brady when the background check bill went down in defeat, and he saw how Sara reacted...she became optimistic.  She told him that now that the public sees how elected officials ignore the will of the people, they will get very angry and now maybe after decades of inaction in Congress on gun control, something will get done.  He stayed on with the organization and says he is now so encouraged by the outpouring of support for his and other organizations fighting for sensible gun laws....he's not going anywhere.
You can help:  http://bradycampaign.org/  They have a Facebook page.

Stephen Barton who was shot multiple times in the movie theatre in Aurora, but who grew up in Sandy Hook and now works for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, told his story and asked young people to step up and work to end the violence.  Mayors Against Illegal Guns started with a handful of mayors, but is now 950 strong and they are working to affect change through their work with Congress and the media:
You can help:  http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/...  They have a Facebook page.

Elliot Fineman whose son was shot and killed by a deranged man while he sat in a restaurant with his wife in San Diego in 2006 was also there. He is the founder of National Gun Victims Action Council.  He advocates for change through economic boycotts.  He is hopeful that he can get millions of people to sign a pledge to target states and corporations with boycotts, which he advocates on his website.  You can help:
http://gunvictimsaction.org/  They has a Facebook page.

A representative of http://shameoncongress.org/... Josh Horwitz was there.  His group has partnered with the Newtown Action Alliance to take action against those senators who voted against the background check bill.  You can help.  And yes, they have a Facebook page.

Also there. Connecticut Senator Bluementhal and an aide to Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy.  Murphy was presiding over the senate and could not attend.  Both he and Bluementhal are continually lobbying fellow senators and hope to change the minds of those who voted against the latest bill.  Sen. Bluementhal reported that he can see a change of heart in some of those senators, mainly because of the backlash that they are feeling for having voted no.  He urged us to keep up the pressure and also to begin calling our Representative in the House, as their is also a bill there for background checks.  It has 150 co-sponsors as of yesterday, a first for that kind of legislation.  All they need is 215 votes to pass it.  The representative from shameoncongress.org, who has been working as a lobbyist for gun control for two decades in D.C., says he has never seen the kind of backlash after failed legislation that he's seeing now on the Senate bill.  He expressed renewed optimism and says he can see minds changing every day and he's sure something will get done this year.

All cautioned us to stay active, never stop the pressure and never give up hope.  Both my husband and I came away with a feeling of hope.  We listened to the people who are on the front lines in the D.C. bubble, and they are saying that for the first time in 20 years of working to pass gun safety laws, they feel confident that it's going to happen.

They promised to "out" those in congress who tack riders to benefit the NRA onto must-pass legislation.  In the last spending bill that passed, riders were tacked on that directly benefited the NRA's craziness and made it harder for people to sue for damages because certain info cannot be used against gun manufacturers....in essence they are protected, unlike any other industry, from lawsuits against their products, which cause the most egregious damage.

It sounded to us at that meeting that this fight has just begun.  It sounded like it's ferocious and determined to win for the first time in decades.  We don't hear about what's going on in the background from the media.  But there is much being done.  

I'm so glad we drove up to Newtown last night.

Originally posted to lutznancy on Wed May 08, 2013 at 07:24 AM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA) and Shut Down the NRA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (23+ / 0-)

    Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven. William Shakespeare

    by lutznancy on Wed May 08, 2013 at 07:24:25 AM PDT

  •  The fact that this meeting was standing room only (8+ / 0-)

    should speak volumes of the disconnect between the current elected officials and the American public.

    Keep fighting this fight and the support will come, because these changes need to happen.

  •  Thank you so much for attending this! (8+ / 0-)

    The Connecticut Effect is not going to dissipate!

    There is a previously silent majority who are now engaged and in it for the long haul!

    Even after President Kennedy was assassinated it took 5 years and 2 more high profile assassinations (RFK and MLK) before Congress could move to pass any gun reforms. (credit to Rachel Maddow)

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Wed May 08, 2013 at 08:10:18 AM PDT

    •  Of course it will dissipate. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zootwoman, FrankRose

      It will dissipate because people who pick up the extinguisher are spraying the flames and leaving the base of the fire alone. Everyone is taught that when fighting a fire, you don't attack the bright glowing flames.

      Blaming the guns doesn't help, because we allow them in the hands of our civilian police force. Putting the ar15 in the hands of the special assault team of every civilian police force across the nation while trying to take it from the hands of every civilian citizen in the nation does not send a message of guns being bad. While the mouth says Guns Bad the act of civilian police armament says Do What The Official With The Gun Tells You.

      The sandy hook effect will dissipate because of the inherent self-conflict stemming from that mixed message. Cops have higher rates of alcoholism, domestic disputes and divorce than the general public yet we put more and more full-military equipment in their hands while trying to take it from the less-afflicted general public. That's an extraordinary mixed message that fails to address the cause of the problem.

      It's not the contents of the hands, it's the contents of the heart. Aim the extinguisher for the base of the fire.

  •  Two more good groups (4+ / 0-)

    Coalition to Stop Gun Violence which is a coalition of 47 national religious, health, consumer, and labor organizations.

    States United to Prevent Gun Violence which coordinates the work of 25 affiliates working at the state level.

  •  I'm surprised and saddened by the lack of interest (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, Glen The Plumber, coquiero

    in this diary today.  Have you all given up on the gun safety issue?  Have you lost interest?  I don't get it.

    Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven. William Shakespeare

    by lutznancy on Wed May 08, 2013 at 10:40:20 AM PDT

    •  I would guess fear. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, coquiero
      "this is Markos's site (insert living room) and if he wants to ban somebody cause he doesn't like the cut of their jib, then so be it."
      This is a quote from a recent diary of a person who was banned and came back after a mediation. He was not banned for this issue.

      I am in the category of a recommend needer. I have never even been close to being reprimanded as I am always jumping for that recommend. So I tangled with the RkBAers. Got reprimanded. Figured that's OK they did too. Nope. Still calling names and more with impunity.

      People love it here and don't want to jeopardize their status. I have read comments that they are just staying away from the gun issue here because it is just one of those meta issues. No solve and lots of bannings.

      There may be an answer but I don't have a clue what it may be.

      Validate my parking Validate my parenting Validate my politics Validate my religion And I will be happy.

      by 88kathy on Wed May 08, 2013 at 11:28:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for going! I'm so glad you're getting (0+ / 0-)

      active in this very necessary cause. I am a Joanie-come-lately to this diary only because it's been a few weeks since I've really been around DK due to working lots of OT and still managing to take care of my kiddos.

      So proud of you and Mr. Lutz! :)

      Seen on Facebook: "Rich people are not the cause of a robust economy, they are the result of a robust economy."

      by boofdah on Thu May 09, 2013 at 07:21:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Keep it up. There's no reason to be discouraged (3+ / 0-)

    based on the response to a single diary.  Keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people is an issue that's here to stay.  It will never go dormant anymore.  Victims of gun violence have rights. The lobby isn't used to hearing about that.  We're still at the very beginning of a long haul.

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Wed May 08, 2013 at 11:16:55 AM PDT

    •  Wow, I'm not a diarist much here, so I had no clue (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, coquiero

      I guess it draws out the best and the worst in people...the gun issue.  Too bad because there is some very useful info in this diary...I post it all on FB.

      Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven. William Shakespeare

      by lutznancy on Wed May 08, 2013 at 01:02:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero

    I have already joined some of the organizations and sent them funds, but there are a couple I didn't know about, so I went to their pages and signed up.  I liked all their FB pages, too, so their posts will show up on my wall.  

    I'm really glad you went to the event and came back to share it with us.  I've been getting discouraged, too - nobody seems to care - they get all riled up for a month or two and then it all dwindles away until the next time.  

    I don't want there to be any more "next times."  

    "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

    by Ricochet67 on Wed May 08, 2013 at 06:07:45 PM PDT

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