RIDGEFIELD, Conn. – Three buses will be leaving Ridgefield on Thursday, filled with people attending the March for Change in Hartford. Some of the moms attending say they hope it sends a message about safety to the state legislature.
“We need to keep our children safe,” said Kristina Larson, who is part of the group March for Change - Ridgefield and who plans to attend. “It’s not so much about guns, as safety.”
The push for safety began after the Newtown school shooting , and the march is being held on the two-month anniversary of the massacre. For the marchers, safety includes everything from doing universal background checks on gun buyers to restricting high-capacity magazines and working within the mental health community.
It’s about “how we can best protect our family and community,” Larson said. “But the dialogue has really grown and evolved over the last several weeks, and I think we’re hearing a lot about mental health issues, school safety issues.”
Group member Amanda Cordano said her brother has dealt with mental health issues his whole life. Even though she loves him, she doesn’t want to see him able to own a gun.
“It’s about responsible gun ownership,” Larson said. “I think the goal should be to find compromise. Compromise isn’t a failure. It’s about coming to a balanced and reasoned discussion.”
There are strong opinions on both sides of the issue, Larson said. Some want to see stronger and stricter gun laws, but others don’t want restrictions on their Second Amendment rights.
“I come from a long line of people who hunt,” said group member Lisa Ruscitti. But she added that doesn’t mean she doesn’t believe in gun safety or more controls.
The group in Ridgefield got together after the tragedy in Newton last December, Larson said. It has met weekly since the New Year. But for them, it won't end after the march in Hartford.The group has already set up several events.
Those attending the march from Ridgefield say they’ll be wearing green hats, scarves and gloves to show support for Newtown, which was the catalyst for the march.
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