Empowering the Nonviolent Opposition to Unnecessary Guns in the Home
We Can Do This.
This past week ends a dreary and particularly sad winter for many of us in Connecticut. This will be the first spring that 26 families of Newtown must face without their loved ones.
Yet the season of spring greets us with hope as the rest of us become those 26 families' collective support system. Spring brings the promise that there will be brighter days to come for other children and families as we forge ahead to create a safer future for all.
The ENOUGH Campaign makes this promise: through the prevention of gun violence, we hope to create safer communities throughout Connecticut and beyond. The ENOUGH Campaign is made up of volunteers, just like you, who are taking action to fulfill this promise.
There is another march coming up this Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 9:30 AM in Hartford, CT, sponsored by Mothers United Against Violence. See below under our community events section of this newsletter for more details on how you can attend this event.
Please read below about the latest information on gun legislation, powerful action that groups of friends are taking, and what steps you can take to help prevent future gun violence and create safer communities.
We are grateful for your strength, your voices, and your support.
Legislative Update: Waiting Patiently for Connecticut
As the three-month anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre passed, pressure on lawmakers was high. We celebrated on March 20, 2013 when Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed new, common-sense laws limiting magazines to 15 rounds and expanding background checks, among other measures. This is a great example of a state taking responsibility to pass laws that will keep us all safer, yet will ensure the preservation of the second amendment.
We hope that Connecticut will follow suit very soon. Our sources in Hartford tell us a bill will come to the floor of the Connecticut legislature in the coming weeks. NOW is the time to contact your state representatives and senators and ask them when they will pass common-sense measures like those passed by Colorado and New York.
On the national level, we were appalled when Harry Reid announced that the assault weapons ban would not be part of the bill brought to the U.S. Senate floor, despite a majority of Americans being in favor of the ban. This news prompted many to take to their phones and computers to tell Senator Reid that the assault weapons ban deserves a vote. Within two days, Senator Reid reversed himself, announcing that after it returns from its recess, the Senate will begin debate on gun legislation to include an assault weapons ban and limits on high-capacity magazines.
The public reaction to Senator Reid is a great example of the power we have: if everyone takes the time to speak out and contact their lawmakers, actions will be modified and changes will be made.
Please do not sit back assuming "the activists" are taking care of this battle to get common-sense gun laws passed. In order to win, we need every member of the silent majority to cease being silent. Every person has a responsibility to tell their legislators that they need to do better. They need to pass sensible laws that will keep us all safer.
Do your part. Now is the time to act.
An Important Message to YOU
from Senator Blumenthal
In a face to face conversation with one of our ENOUGH executive board members, Sen. Blumenthal strongly urged all of us - and that includes YOU - to continue making our voices heard. Sen. Blumenthal welcomes all phone calls and emails and encourages us to also contact his colleagues on the issue of gun violence prevention. The senator's message to us couldn't have been clearer: "Keep speaking out," he pleaded.
Sen. Blumenthal and The ENOUGH Campaign volunteers want to see more people like them who care about living in safer communities contacting their lawmakers. But positive change can only come if we make the effort to do so. You don't have to consider yourself an "activist" to support common sense gun laws. If we don't speak out, others will speak for us. Do we really want to take that chance? Don't leave this up to others. Call your representatives NOW!
Senator Richard Blumenthal
Connecticut lawmakers who need to hear from us:
- Speaker Rep. Brendan Sharkey 860-240-8500
- House Minority Leader Rep. Larry Cafero 860-240-8700
- House Majority Leader Rep. Joe Aresimowicz 860-240-8489
- Senate Minority Leader Senator John McKinney 860-240-8846
- President of the Senate Don Williams 860-240-8634
- Majority Leader of the Senate Martin Looney 860-240-0375
In addition, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, is urging people to contact the following senators who are "seemingly out of reach." His organization has created a series of ads aimed at persuading senators in key states to support gun control measures. It is important for these senators to hear our viewpoints and let them know we, as voting American citizens, demand more common sense gun legislation:
- Arizona - Senator Jeff Flake 202-224-4521
- Arkansas - Senator Mark Pryor 202-224-2353
- Georgia - Senator Saxby Chambliss 202-224-3521
- Georgia - Senator Johnny Isakson 202-224-3643
- Indiana - Senator Joe Donnelly 202-224-4814
- Indiana - Senator Dan Coats 202-224-5623
- Iowa - Senator Chuck Grassley 202-224-3744
- Louisiana - Senator Mary Landrieu 202-224-5824
- Maine - Senator Susan Collins 202-224-2523
- New Hampshire - Senator Kelly Ayotte 202-224-3324
- Nevada - Senator Dean Heller 202-224-6244
- North Carolina - Senator Kay Hagan 202-224-6342
- North Dakota - Senator Heidi Heitkamp 202-224-2043
- Ohio - Senator Rob Portman 202-224-3353
- Pennsylvania - Senator Pat Toomey 202-224-425
Encourage them to vote YES on the following bills:
- The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (S. 150)
- Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013 (S. 54)
- Fix Gun Checks Act of 2013 (S. 374)
- School and Campus Safety Enhancements Act of 2013 (S. 146)
When senators and other lawmakers hear from us, their constituents, it makes a BIG difference. Call them NOW!
You can read more about Bloomberg's initiative and see the new ad campaign here:
Colin Goddard at the March for Change on February 14, 2013 in Hartford, survivor of the Virginia Tech massacre and an advocate for reviving the expired federal Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act - the so-called Brady Bill - said the people of Connecticut are not alone in this fight.
"We must challenge any politician who thinks it is easier to ask an elementary school teacher to stand up to a gunman with an AR-15 than it is to ask that politician to stand up to a gun lobbyist with a checkbook," he said.
There's no better way to spread the word about keeping our communities free from gun violence than getting together with a group of friends for an informal coffee and letting them know how to create change for the better.
The ENOUGH Campaign has created simple info sessions that can be replicated by anyone, even if you know nothing about guns or gun violence. Our sessions are a part of The P.O.W.E.R. of Five Project (Powerful Outreach With Educational Resources), or "PO5", which reaches out to thousands of people across the state to teach "regular" people about how to promote common sense gun laws, affect change and continue the conversation in order to stem the epidemic of gun violence that plagues our communities.
In the PO5 toolkit, coming soon to our website and available to download for free, you'll find easy-to-follow instructions on how to create an info session by inviting your friends over to discuss how to curb gun violence in your community.
The toolkit has simple, easy to follow instructions and includes pieces like "action items of the week", a PowerPoint presentation, contacts to your representatives, a ready-made invitation for your gathering, and more. The ENOUGH Campaign team leaders will be on hand to answer any of your questions by email.
The idea behind PO5 is that it takes just a few to make a powerful change. You tell four friends, and each of your friends tells four friends, and so on. Before you know it, your small group of five has created an ascent of change on a scale greater than we could ever imagine.
Hear it from the moms themselves: "We didn't know anything about guns going into this," says Teresa, one of The ENOUGH Campaign's volunteers. "We do know that we want to protect our families and learn how to teach others to do so."
From an attendee: "After Newtown, I wanted to do something. This meeting was so inspirational. Before the session, I was intimidated about discussing gun violence. But I left with more knowledge and I feel confident in contacting my representatives to let them know where I stand!"
While the number of families and concerned citizens who want sensible gun laws outnumber those who do not want change, lawmakers quizzically hear from gun advocates more often than the average person who wants to see safer, stronger gun laws. The ENOUGH Campaign wants to see this troubling trend reversed. Our informal, peer-to-peer info sessions are helping to make some headway, teaching our friends and their friends how easy it is to contact their lawmakers to make change happen.
"We can't leave this up to the few activists," says team leader Shira. "We are it. Change won't happen unless we make it happen."
So - are you ready to invite four friends over?
Put on a pot of coffee and contact us now to get your FREE PO5 toolkit!
To learn more about The POWER of FIVE
and how you can attend an info session or start one of your own, email us at theENOUGHcampaign@gmx.com
Ready... Set... CHANGE!
Hearings and Community Events
Representing Gun Safety in Hartford
An ENOUGH Campaign volunteer's personal account
On March 13, 2013, our friends at Connecticut Against Gun Violence (CAGV)
called their supporters to Hartford in order to urge legislators to move past the slowdown that has kept new gun legislation from coming up for a vote. This was not a rally or a march, but rather a day when constituents made appointments with their own legislators to sit down and talk personally with them about what they want and what their legislators are supporting (or not).
CAGV held an hour long "Next Steps" meeting before the meetings in order to give people an update on legislation status and provide them with points to cover with their legislators.
So for the third time in as many months, I found two friends who could come along and we headed out. Each time we've gone to Hartford, it's been for a different type of CAGV event.
This recounting is for those of you who are curious about what it's like to participate in a CAGV event in Hartford. We need more people at these events
, so hopefully a better understanding of what it's like will help more people to consider participating.
The first was for a hearing on January 28, 2013. We waited in a tremendous line to get through security and into the building. We were three of only a handful of gun safety advocates amongst a sea of pro-gun supporters. After an hour of scheduled experts providing testimony at the hearing, the commission opened up the microphone to citizens to express their views (3 minutes each). Participation was by sign up only and it was a lottery for the numerical order in which you would present. As we had only three hours to spend in Hartford before going back to pick up kids from school, none of us pulled a number which would give us time to speak before we had to leave. We stayed as long as we could to show support for gun safety, but mostly listened to pro-gun supporters, one after another, repeatedly expressing their views about the second amendment. We had all submitted our testimony the day before via email, so we knew that it was seen by the commission, but we also saw, first hand, just how organized the NRA was and how many people they could turn out for such an event (and how few were making it out for gun safety).
On February 14, 2013, the two-month anniversary of the Newtown massacre, March for Change
(a program of CAGV) held their big march in Hartford. More than 5,500 people from all over the state paid for their seats on the school buses that CAGV and their supporters, including The ENOUGH Campaign volunteers, arranged to transport people from a long list of towns. In Stamford, we filled two buses with supporters and were thrilled to arrive and see the amazing crowd on a sunny and welcoming day in Hartford. Moving speeches were given and the people that attended got the chance to see, for the first time in Connecticut, the gathering momentum and strength of the gun safety movement. The buses were well organized and got us back home in time to pick up the kids from school.
Most people that attended on March 13 for meetings with their legislators had never done such a thing before (and plenty of us were pretty nervous about it). CAGV gave us a short talk to bring us up to date on the status of the legislation. They also gave us tips for the best way to discuss the issues with our legislators. They had handouts which we brought along to our legislators in order to provide feedback to us and CAGV to clarify exactly where each legislator stood on each main issue being discussed. Personally, I had it relatively easy that day. Both my representative and my senator were supportive of the gun legislation. But even still, I found out about points on which my senator was unsure, saying he "needed to do more homework". I passed this info along to CAGV and also followed up with emails of my own in an attempt to provide further information on outstanding points. I was the only person from Stamford there that day to meet with my senator. Considering the number of people that I know locally that are actively participating in this effort, I was a little shocked that I could be the only one that made it. But it also became crystal clear that I was making a difference.
I had many conversations in the Capitol that day, providing information that I would not have heard or learned anywhere else.
By far, the easiest of these three events to attend, in emotional terms, was the march. There was no confrontation, and we were surrounded by like supporters.
There is another march coming up. The "Mothers United Against Violence" march
is this Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 9:30 AM in Hartford, CT.
They will meet at the corner of Main Street and Albany Avenue for a 1 � mile march. Then a rally will begin at 10:30 AM on the North Steps of the State Capitol. If you attend, they ask that you wear green in memory of Sandy Hook.
If you would like to join your friends and neighbors on a bus to this march, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Newtown Teens Form Group Focusing on Gun Violence Prevention
The ENOUGH Campaign salutes all who are standing up and speaking out against gun violence. Several online activists have captured our attention in recent weeks for their unique perspective on the discussion of the national epidemic of gun violence. One group who we love to hear from is the youth. We encourage all teens to find their voice if they've got something to say!
One recently-formed group of teens from Newtown, CT, Second Amendment Sanity
, have recently created a SignOn petition that we want to share with you all. As you may know, the National Sports Shooting Foundation (NSSF) is (coincidentally) located in Newtown and they currently do NOT support universal background checks.
If you haven't yet signed onto this petition, please do: http://signon.org/sign/steve-sanetti-the-nssf.fb24?source=s.icn.fb&r_by=1637600
If you know of any youth who are wanting to join their cause, please check out their Facebook
site, and if you know of other teen activists doing cool things, please let us know!
A brief history: In the wake of the Newtown massacre, several moms from Fairfield County banded together to form The ENOUGH Campaign, a grassroots community organization created to protect families and citizens of Connecticut from gun violence through advocacy and education.
The ENOUGH Campaign is an all-volunteer run, grassroots organization. We are so grateful for everyone involved in this effort to make our cities and towns a safer place to live, and we thank you!
It's people like you that help The ENOUGH Campaign stop gun violence and promote safer communities.
Donations assist us in our legislative advocacy and community education efforts.
Make a difference NOW!
All donations will be deposited to The ENOUGH Campaign, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, filing status in progress
The mission of The ENOUGH Campaign is to protect our families and our country as we advocate for more public awareness on the issues of gun violence prevention in America. Through legislative advocacy and community education, we champion stronger gun laws and aim to transform public perceptions of gun safety.