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Why I am marching for gun control

January 19, 2013

I am not a mother. I am not a teacher. I am not a policy person. I am not a safety expert. But none of that matters. I had to act. The victims at Sandy Hook were everyone’s children. The victims of gun violence in the United States are everyone’s mothers, everyone’s fathers, everyone’s brothers and sisters. This is an act of citizenship.

— Molly Smith, Organizer, March on Washington for Gun Control.

Molly_Smith-250On Dec. 14, my partner, American Indian activist Suzanne Blue Star Boy, and I were on a train heading home from New York when the horrific news of the Newtown, Conn., massacre arrived on my iPhone. We were shocked and terrified. After a few moments, Suzanne said: “Someone needs to do a march.”

I posted the idea on Facebook, and many responded in agreement. By the next day, Suzanne and I had decided we had to lead a march for gun control. Hundreds began signing on to the effort: Facebook friends, colleagues from Suzanne’s professional circles and mine at Arena Stage (where I am artistic director), neighbors and many others.

We moved fast. We wanted the march to take place as quickly as possible because, as the ancient Greeks tell us, the sorrow of being human is that we forget quickly. And we cannot forget Sandy Hook Elementary School. Three months would be too long to wait. Two months would be too long. We needed to act instead of just talking. We wanted to bring our bodies and our minds and our souls to this work.

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