Fairfield County Moms Join 5,500 In March For Change In Hartford

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Susan Singer, Debbie Thibodeau, Diana Del Guidice, Judy Rogers, Mandy Kellogg and Anjali Shah, all from Simsbury, attended the March for Change.
Susan Singer, Debbie Thibodeau, Diana Del Guidice, Judy Rogers, Mandy Kellogg and Anjali Shah, all from Simsbury, attended the March for Change. Photo Credit: Jes Siart
The crowd of thousands listened to testimonies, songs and calls to action Thursday at the March For Change.
The crowd of thousands listened to testimonies, songs and calls to action Thursday at the March For Change. Photo Credit: Jes Siart
State Sen. John McKinney (R-Fairfield) addresses the crowd Thursday in Hartford.
State Sen. John McKinney (R-Fairfield) addresses the crowd Thursday in Hartford. Photo Credit: Jes Siart
5,500 people attended Thursday's March For Change in Hartford.
5,500 people attended Thursday's March For Change in Hartford. Photo Credit: Jes Siart
Stephen Barton, a survivor of the Aurora, Colo,. shooting, addresses the crowd in Hartford.
Stephen Barton, a survivor of the Aurora, Colo,. shooting, addresses the crowd in Hartford. Photo Credit: Jes Siart

HARTFORD, Conn. – More than 5,500 residents, activists, gun violence survivors, and even one dog flooded the steps and parking lot of the state capitol in Hartford Thursday to demand action on the two-month anniversary of the Newtown school shooting that left 20 children and six educators dead.

The nearly two-hour March For Change featured speakers who were affected by gun violence, including Jillian Soto, the younger sister of teacher Victoria Soto, who was killed Dec. 14.

“For me, Vicky was a hero long before Sandy Hook,” she said. “She didn’t need to die to prove that to me.”

Kara Nelson Baekey, a Norwalk mother of two who formed the Fairfield County chapter of One Million Moms For Gun Control, said the 5,500 people in attendance more than doubled the expected turnout of 2,000 and spanned all demographics. She said her group will not back down until lawmakers listen to their voices.

“The mom contingency was there in force, but there were also a lot of senior citizens and I also noticed the younger crowd that seemed to be high school or college age,” she said. “If we want change, we're going to have to start screaming a lot louder than we have been.”

The audience was dotted with signs painted with slogans calling for love over hate, an assault weapon ban and an end to gun violence. State Sen. Donald William (D-Brooklyn) and State Sen. John McKinney (R-Fairfield) both spoke about working to cut through political party lines to bring about change. At one point during McKinney’s speech, the crowd interrupted, chanting “pass the law.”

Stephen Barton, a survivor of the Aurora, Colo. movie theater shooting, spoke at the rally, focusing on uniting as a community in the aftermath of tragedies.

“When horrible things like Aurora or Sandy Hook happen, it doesn’t divide us, it unites us,” Barton said.

Henrietta Beckman, founder of Mothers United Against Violence, whose son was shot in Hartford a decade ago, also spoke at the rally and brought attention to the gun violence seen in urban areas. Her message was echoed by Robert Thompson, whose son was shot while walking home from a party in Bridgeport.

Veronique Pozner, mother of Noah Pozner, the youngest victim killed at Sandy Hook, addressed the crowd, describing her son and all of the things he will never get to experience because of gun violence. She stressed the importance of an assault weapon ban and ended with a call to action for those in attendance to support a ban.

“Citizens have the right to bear arms but they do not have the right to bear weapons of mass destruction,” she said.

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Comments (39)

Why is this posted as NEW news? Today is Thurs. Feb 28!

I think we should ban cars..look at all the deaths, the pollution etc..they are one of the most dangerous weapons in the world...if it saves one life it is worth it...then baseball bats..blinds with strings attached..cribs..bicycle riding etc...we need to live inside cages where the really important people ar in charge and know what is right and can keep us safe from ourselves and others...question of the day...how do we achieve peace on this planet? it is a very easy answer..

Repeal the 19th!

This Pozner woman shows herself to be a skillful self-promotor; and is grooming herself for higher office. Can First Select-person be far off? To paraphrase Rahm Emanuel, "Never waste a tragedy".

Feel free to share what you consider to be "weak gun laws." Here is a fact: Connecticut has the 5th strictest gun laws in the country. Here is another fact: It is illegal to steal guns from others. Here is another fact: It is illegal to bring a gun on school grounds. Here is another fact: It is illegal to shoot people. Here is another fact: It is illegal to murder people. Any prevention caused by those laws? Nope. The problem is that laws are reactive, not proactive. They address behavior after the fact. What that means is the person only gets punished if they get caught after they have already done whatever it is they are planning. Obviously, with most mass shooters, they have every intention of killing themselves after their carnage, so there is no need for them to consider laws at all. Unfortunately, laws do nothing to address the intent or the drive to enact the behavior. There are many things that can be done about addressing violence in our society. Unfortunately, the focus on gun laws is not the answer and takes attention away from things that could actually make a difference.

The continued reference to criminal beheavior in the defense of weak gun laws countradicts the purpose and need for better regulation. Regulation will not immediately temper access to guns by the illintenioned or unstable. It will however, over time succeed. To justify doing nothing about gun regulation now because criminals don't adhere to the law is hasty and illogical thinking.
Self serving, Fear tainted, Race baiting, Misleading and Outright Untruths expressed in recent rethoric expressed by NRA leadership is far more destructive to any community and our country than a desire for sensible gun laws.

"Regulation will not immediately temper access to guns by the ill intenioned or unstable. It will however, over time succeed.To justify doing nothing about gun regulation now because criminals don't adhere to the law is hasty and illogical thinking."

Uh, you might want to tell that to the people in Chicago, where one girl was shot days after her performance at the recent inauguration. Another girl who attended the President's speech in Chicago received the news that her sister had been killed by gun fire mere hours after the President left town. Oh yeah, Chicago has one of the strictest firearm laws in the nation. It's also known as Murder City.

"Outright Untruths expressed in recent rethoric expressed by NRA leadership is far more destructive to any community and our country than a desire for sensible gun laws."

Could you please cite a reference where the rhetoric expressed by the NRA caused destruction? I'd be interested to see that.

TV Guy: You mention "Race Baiting" by the NRA. Can you give us a SPECIFIC quote that backs this up? Or should we just nod, and accept what you say?

TV Guy: stop pounding the send key like a spoiled child stamping his foot when he doesn't get his way.

Stuttering TV guy?

To justify gun regulation as a way to prevent crime is hasty & illogical thinking. Acording to the FBI gun were used over 1 million times last year to PREVENT crimes saving untold lives. Thats THOUSANDS per day, much greater than the crime that can be directly attributed to guns.

The NRA, despite your empty rhetoric, is simply doing what its membership wants within their limits. Our leaders should learn from them. What YOU want is to violate MY civil rights & that is beyond the legislators power.

http://factcheck.org/2012/12/gun-rhetoric-vs-gun-facts/. There's nothing to support that 1 million figure. Clearly I now iunderstand why proponents of the Nancy (Lanza) Rifle Association wants to stop background checks for mental illness

Do the research Sono. Theres plenty to support it. What theres nothing to support is the concept that gun control does anything but create new victims, like it did in Newtown so tragically.. As I said, if you can navigate the govts own statistics its right there. The NRA, contrary to your lies, has always been behind background checks for mental illness.

Another blatant lie is that there was over 5000 people there. Might have been 2000 but thats nothing when we consider how very hard these losers tried to get people there. They had busses & pushed this thing so hard there should have been 10,000 if they had the support they wanted. We had an equal number there on the 19th in support of civil rights with NO busses & NO political speakers.

The lies, ignorance & arrogance of the anti gun lunatics is amazing to behold.

Heres what I found in just a few minutes,
TABLE 5-1 Comparing Sampling Design of the NCVS and NSDS

National Crime Victimization Survey

National Self-Defense Survey


Noninstitutionalized U.S. population, age 12 and over, each year since 1973

Defensive gun use questions to victims (self-reported)

U.S population, age 18 and over, with phones, 1993

DGU questions to all respondents

Sample design

Rotating panel design

Stratified, multistage cluster sample of housing units

Telephone and personal contacts

One-shot cross-section

Stratified by region (South and West oversampled)

Random digit dialing

Sample size

Approximately 50,000 households and 100,000 individuals

4,997 individuals

Response rate

Approximately 95% of eligible housing units

61% of eligible numbers answered by human beings


U.S. Census Bureau for U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics

Research Network

Estimated defensive gun use

116,398 annual incidents using 1993-1994 data from redesigned survey

2,549,862 annual incidents

SOURCE: McDowall et al. (2000: Table 1). Used with kind permission of Springer Science and Business Media.`

Thats at LEAST 116,398 defensive uses, a little over 300 a DAY up to 2,549,862. You pick, as far as I'm concerened its unimportant, whats important is its clear people do defend themselves with guns and that interfereing with their ability to get them increases our chances of being the victims of a crime. You can lobby on the side of criminals if you want, but dont try to pretend you have the higher moral ground. Because you dont. Gun control helps kill alot of people every year & those who support it share the guilt.

@sono resident: There have been several studies. The original & most famous was done by criminologist Gary Kleck that found up to 2.5 million defensive uses of firearms per year.


The Clinton administration had their own study done which found 1.5 million per year: The National Institute of Justice, in its survey "Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms"

Unfortunately, FactCheck has proven not to be as completely unbiased as they would claim to be. The article is long & has lots of information, but they show their bias by highlighting certain people or studies as to be more relevant.

Mr. Espo, you are entirely wrong about stopping Adam Lanza. One of the laws being proposed is proper storage. If Mrs. Lanza had properly stored her gun, he couldn't have gotten it. If high ammunition magazines had been banned, Adam Lanza could have committed his crime, but with far few casualties. Eleven children ran out of the classroom when he stopped to reload. If he would have had to stop after 10 rounds, instead of 30, we are talking about 20 fewer dead children. Get your facts straight and stop spouting nonsense from the NRA.

Isle2688, what are you talking about? Lanza'a mother could have had her firearms in a surplus bank vault with 5' thick walls. He MUDERED her. How does one stop a muderer from getting access to your keys, passwords and effects once you are dead? You do NOT know what specifically went on in the Lanza home, nor what evidence was found because the police have not released that information.

It is TOTALLY offensive to imply that killing 10 people is better than killing 30. That is the problem with all of this ridiculous rhetoric about gun control laws. You are doing nothing to prevent or change the criminal intent to commit the act. Using your mindset, instead of one rifle with 30 bullets, the criminal can have two handguns with 20 bullets and kill 20 people, but that's okay because at least he didn't use a rifle with a 30-round magazine. Sorry, but that is absolutely ridiculous. You want to stop violence? Start addressing the primary causes of it -- gangs, drugs, and mental illness.

The ONLY think that would have stopped Lanza for sure is another armed person. Nobody can be sure that he couldnt get tham had his mom had a safe, which as far as I know hasnt been released anyway. He killed her, who can believe that a threat of death wouldnt have got that safe open.
You guys act & talk as if LESS children would be acceptable. How screwed up is that? Not one child should be undefended or helplessly surrendered to violence.
You can speculate about the numbers that escaped while reloading, but my kids go to school here & none should die in the name of gun control, which is what all those children died for. Gun control created the perfect situation for a madman & all you guys can do is shirk YOUR responsibility by begging for more helplessness. Its every one of our responsability and if YOU choose to do NOTHING you should NOT stand in the way of those who take saftey seriously. Every single person there was lobbying for what caused this tragedy AND lobbying against civil rights. They should be ashamed.

Actually, there were women and many men too, not all of whom were parents. There were gun owners who support safer gun legislation. There were survivors of gun violence and families of people who have lost loved ones to gun violence. Everyone stated their belief that Second Amendment rights are guaranteed under the Constitution and yet, everyone also believed there are steps that can be taken to reduce gun violence, much in the same way that seat belts reduce vehicular deaths. The commenter above is restating the same rhetoric from the NRA. Gun laws actually do stop some guns from getting into the wrong hands. No law is going to stop everyone, but deterrents in the form of laws actually work.

Thats like saying you support the first amendment but want to limit free speech to a 10 word limit to prevent hateful speaking. If you support gun control you support violating our civil rights, period.

Its true that gun laws prevent some crimes, but its also true that they permit more than they prevent. Thats why strict gun laws are always associated with violent places. Guns prevent far more crimes than they contribute to. Thats a FACT, one not even argued against by the govt because its the FBIs own statistics that prove its true. In Portland several days before Sandy Hook another gunman started shooting up a mall and was stopped by a LONE CIVILIAN GUNOWNER. We cant quantify the number of lives saved, but if we look at Sandy hook, a very similar scenerio EXCEPT IT WAS A GUN FREE ZONE, its logical to say that he might have saved 24 lives. So why arent you guys screaming about the gun free zone laws that likely cost those 2 dozen lives by violating our 2nd Amendment rights? If you do the research, no need for the NRA, its very easy to find numerous examples of nuts starting to commit crimes with a gun being stopped by normal citizens with guns. Every single one was a potential Sandy Hook. The gun control movement is so ridiculous its amazing so many fall for it.

What's really sad is they do not have a basic understand or knowledge of crime statistics and rates in Connecticut. One person was killed with a long gun in Connecticut in 2011. In the same time period, six people were beaten to death with hands, fists, and feet. Slightly more than 120 were killed with handguns. Unfortunately, a murderer is not going to be stopped by a law about a weapon, and they certainly aren't going to march into the police station for a background check. Personally, I'm more concerned with the 15% increase in rapes from 2010 to 2011. That is a huge increase, especially when most crime rates in this state have been going down, and many women still do not report being raped. At least two women a day are raped in this state, and these women are in Hartford protesting a weapon that was used by one man in one crime on one day. Sorry, ladies, you're focusing on the wrong thing.

It is sad that so many miss the real point here. A firearm is an inanimate object. It can not fire itself. Why aren't these people up in arms and addressing the need for a difference in communities, in help for mental health as well as support for those dealing with someone who needs help. We have yet to hear what medications Lanza was taking, what kind of issues he had, or the full report from the authorities. Yet people are up in arms and yelling. The shooters of mass destruction are not law abiding citizens with firearms that act responsibly. The shooters are evil people that need to be delt with and stopped. The laws in place need to be enforced.

Nothing that is being proposed would have prevented Adam Lanza from doing what he did. Nothing, Wearing a ribbon or crossing your fingers would have the same effect.

Repeal cars: 50,000 adults and children killed every year. 985,000 world-wide.
Repeal peanut butter: 150 children per year die from food allergies
Repeal soccer: 900 deaths each year.
Repeal sex: at least one that we know of died: Nelson Rockefeller, but so many countless, faceless others have needlessly died in the saddle. If we can just save one life, it's worth it. They deserve a vote.

Repeal Marijuana: Zero deaths. Ever.

Yes Mrs. N except pot smoke is more carcinogenic that tobacco, no?

And I am sure there have been "zero deaths, ever" from the drug cultivation and trafficking of pot and related illegal drugs.

Ad I am sure NO ONE has ever had a motor vehicle accident while stoned that has caused grievous injury or death.

And then there is the obesity, diabetes and colesterol complications from junk food binging due to the munchies.

Ad then there are those "Jackass" guys.....

Yeah they are such radicals, they want to limit purchases of handguns to one a month or 12 a year. There goes the Nancy (Lanza) Rifle Association again. I know those blue helmeted UN troops are about to swoop in..gotta have an arsenal...or is it the riots and anarchy of the streets after Hurricane Sancy...oops not one murder in NYC for those 5 days. Guess Sheepdog is an expert at counting must've been from his helicopter. Clearly they have to improve the mental health laws too

I dont want guns to fight off the UN, I want them to protect me & my family from the people right here in Norwalk shooting each other, mostly in SONO, on a regular basis. Its a basic civil right in the USA & this movement is ethically no different than one aimed at a violating civil rights in regard to race, sex, or anything else.
For every Adam Lanza there are hundreds of crimes prevented & lives saved, maybe thousands if FBI statistics are to be believed.

There are no FBI stats that support that statement, there is a claim of an FBI stat that 1 million people defend themselves with guns but that was never put out by the FBI. The sensible gun laws suggested don't stop you from having a handgun or a rifle in your home, just not a semi-automatic that can shoot 30 bullets in a clip. There's lots of drivel on here about "media" bias, perhaps if people would simply look at what the impact would be of passing gun registration-background checks and limits of 1 a month handgun purchases, they'd realize this is as close to repealing the 2nd amendment as limits of yelling fire in a crowded movie theatre is to repealing the 1st amendment. It's much more likely someone in my family will be struck by a wayward bullet intended for someone else in SONO then someone will try to break into my house and injure a family member.

I answered the defensive studies claim above.

Show me where in the US any gun restrictive laws have reduced crime. If 30 round magazines are so dangerous, why has there been no statistical increase in the # of deaths attributable to the firearms that use them? All rifles (which include so-called 'assault weapons) have accounted for 2.5-3% of all homicides over the last 20 years even while they have become more popular & make up almost 50% of rifle sales in recent years.

If they were being used so often in crime, why isn't the % going up? From 2004-2011 in CT there were 850 homicides. All rifles (again including so-called 'assault weapons') accounted for exactly 2 of those homicides.

Sorry for pointing out the media bias, keep pretending you live in a perfect little world.

Repeal the 1st amendment too

M Murray
That would be a good way to silence the right wing wackos but it does seem a bit extreme.

Actually it would be better if we used such a restriction to silence those working to limit the most important of our civil rights. Why should we limit people speaking in support of equality, civil rights & the Constitution? Because YOU dislike those things?

I'm not sure people believing in our country & the principles it was founded upon are the whackos, Id point to those who seem to forget where we came from & how we got to be the greatest country on Earth as the whack jobs myself. You people are too stupid to realize that the world is full of places just like you want the US to be, so leave if freedom & liberty scare you. Leave now before its too late, you are dragging us backwards as can be seen by the trend in this country since liberalism took over several decades ago. WE rose to the top as conservatives & are spiraling down the drain as liberals. Thanks a bunch.

Uhh... gun trafficking IS illegal already.

Judging by all the pics I saw today there were not 5500 people there. Maybe 1500-1800

Thats what got me in this conversation. I was there on the 19th supporting our civil rights & there were clearly more people then than yesterday.

Does anyone know what a gun looks like and has touch one ?

Repeal the second amendment

Yes Jim we agree