Moms to march

Mothers from across the country will be congregating in Washington, D.C., on Mother’s Day, May 14, to pressure Congress to pass sensible gun legislation.

The Million Mom March will take place on the National Mall from 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Their mission is to educate the country about the life-threatening danger of guns.

Inspired by the Granada Hills, Calif., day-camp shooting Aug. 10, 1999, New Jersey mother Donna Dees-Thomases began the campaign. She said she felt guilty for not doing anything before and immediately began petitioning for a permit to march on the Mall.

We want Congress to create a meaningful gun policy in this country, Thomases said. We are asking Congress to enact sensible laws, or face a `time-out’ in November.

The mothers endorse cooling off periods, during which gun buyers have to wait a certain amount of time between attempting to purchase the gun and actually obtaining it. They also support background checks when guns are purchased, mandatory licensing of handguns, mandatory safety locks on all handguns and limitations of one gun purchase per month, per person.

The Million Mom March is not about banning guns, said Sarah Edelman, a GW sophomore and an intern for the campaign. It’s about making them safer.

The mothers have three specific policy goals in mind for Congress, and are calling on each representative to enact them before Mother’s Day so that on May 14 they can celebrate, rather than protest.

First, they ask for consumer product safety standards for guns. Presently, guns are not subject to any safety standards, and with regulation, they said they feel that deaths and injuries caused by unregulated design could be reduced.

Secondly, the campaign asks for more control on the distribution of guns. This can be achieved by ensuring that dealers not sell guns to prohibited purchasers, that they have strict security procedures to prevent theft and that gun shows establish tighter regulations.

Lastly, they ask that Congress implement other common sense measures, such as prohibiting the gun industry from marketing guns to children and prohibiting the entertainment industry from glamorizing guns through movies and television.

Rosie O’Donnell agreed to emcee the march when Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) asked her to participate. She said she feels strongly about the mission of the campaign.

As a mother, this is a personal issue, O’Donnell said. I’m going to Washington for the future safety of all children.

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