Newtown Students Join Anti-Gun Violence March

Huge Throng Rallies in Washington To Back New Curbs

Stop the Violence: Students from Newtown, Conn., joined a rally against gun violence in Washington.
getty images
Stop the Violence: Students from Newtown, Conn., joined a rally against gun violence in Washington.

By Reuters

Published January 26, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Multi Page

Thousands of marchers rallied in Washington in favor of gun control on Saturday, including residents of Newtown, Connecticut, where a mass elementary school shooting reignited the U.S. gun violence debate.

Speakers - including Education Secretary Arne Duncan, lawmakers and actors - urged the protesters to lobby Congress and state legislators to back gun control measures.

Duncan, who said one student had died from guns every two weeks while he was chief executive of Chicago’s public schools, denied that gun control was about limiting firearm rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Murders in that city last year rose to the highest level since 2008, according to police.

“This is about gun responsibility. This is about gun safety. This is about fewer dead Americans, fewer dead children, fewer children living in fear,” Duncan said.

Organizers backed President Barack Obama’s call for a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and background checks for all gun sales. They also urged safety training for all buyers of firearms.

Marchers stretched for several blocks along Constitution Avenue as they approached the rally site in the shadow of the Washington Monument.

Participants included politicians from Maryland and the District of Columbia, including Washington Mayor Vincent Gray, as well as actress Kathleen Turner and Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund.

90-MINUTE RALLY

The protest came a week after gun rights supporters held rallies across the United States to oppose firearms control.

The 90-minute rally was organized by Molly Smith, artistic director of Washington’s Arena Stage, and her partner, and co-sponsored by One Million Moms for Gun Control, an advocacy group.

One Million Moms organized similar events on Saturday in about a dozen cities, including San Francisco and Austin, Texas.

About 100 residents of Newtown and surrounding areas attended the rally and march down Constitution Avenue. A gunman killed 20 first-graders and six adults on Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, and numerous speakers and marchers said that rampage had spurred them to act.

“It’s difficult to get laws changed when politicians are bought out, but we have to start somewhere,” said Amy Journo, 38, an occupational therapist whose two sons, ages 5 and 7, attended Sandy Hook.

“I want to ensure that they (children) are safer, not just my children but all across the United States,” Journo said.

A spokesman for the U.S. Capitol Police declined to give an estimate of crowd size, citing department policy.

Obama’s proposals, the most significant attempt at gun-control in decades, face an uphill battle in Congress. The proposals are strongly opposed by gun advocates, such as the powerful National Rifle Association.

The lobbying group has said that current laws need better enforcement, issues of mental health should be addressed and that tighter laws could not have prevented Newtown.

About 11,100 Americans died in gun-related killings in 2011, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 19,766 suicides by firearms in 2011, the CDC said.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.