February 20, 2018; WFSB-TV (Hartford, CT)
The membership numbers of the Connecticut chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America have been climbing in the wake of the shooting at Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman High School. One of the chapter’s leaders, Danelle Egan, reports that 200 people showed up to the latest membership meeting in Westport, in comparison to the usual 15.
The group says they have seen a surge of interest on a national level. Egan thinks it’s the statements from survivors that are attracting this new activism. “I think it’s making adults realize ‘shame on you’ if you’re not helping the cause, because we have 17-year-olds who can’t even vote and they’re out there making a difference,” Egan said.
Moms Demand Action is the grassroots organizing arm of Everytown for Gun Safety. They’re one of the organizers of next month’s “March For Our Lives,” and the name of their new sister organization will be Students Demand Action.
The group’s Minnesota chapter saw a similar increase at their rally at the state capital, which usually attracts around 30 participants. In both places, organizers say the new members are feeling the “enough is enough” message of survivors in a different way.
“I’ve been wanting to get more involved for a while. I was a kid during Columbine, there were shootings all through my college years, and now we’re scared at the thought of sending our kids to school in a few years,” said Katie Slack, 30, another “first-timer” from Plymouth whose three children range from 3 months to 4 years old.
Slack noted that both her parents are middle school teachers. When there was a shooting at a K-12 school, she would call them. And when she attended college, they would call her when there was a shooting at a college or university.
“It’s this tragic back-and-forth,” Slack said. “Something’s gotta give.”