Hoosier moms and mothers from across the country are commemorating the one-year anniversary of the tragedy that befell Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. Moms Demand Action, an organization formed by an Indiana mother in the wake of the mass shooting that left 26 dead, now has more than 120,000 members and chapters in every state.
The leader of the Indiana chapter, Nicky McNally, said the group recently met with local, state and federal leaders and made some progress in building support for gun reform, but she said there’s still a lot of work to be done.
“Mothers were awakened by this terrible occurrence last Dec. 14 and this issue is not going away,” she said. “And until we see that our children are safe on the streets of this country and in our schools we’re not going to stop.”
Mothers will gather together in more than 35 states on Saturday to honor the victims of the tragedy in Newtown and the thousands of Americans lost to gun violence every year. An event on Monument Circle in Indianapolis starts at 9:30 a.m. and includes a communal bell ringing to remember the victims.
McNally said that in Indiana, the Moms Demand Action chapter was able to help stop a proposal this year to allow armed individuals in schools, but she said without common-sense state and federal changes to gun control, school leaders have had to take it upon themselves to implement measures to keep children safe.
“Schools are having to look at things like bullet-proof whiteboards and backpacks and lock-down drills and just crazy things they have to do in order to protect the kids because our government has been slow to act on things like background checks for all gun sales,” she stressed.
As the problem of gun violence in America escalates, McNally said Moms Demand Action will continue their work toward middle-ground solutions like universal background checks, changes to Stand Your Ground statutes and concealed-carry laws.