Gun Safety Advocates Raise Money, Awareness in Wilton

Despite Saturday' frigid temperature, Wilton's "March for Change" volunteers advocating stricter gun safety laws raised $1,500 in donations and awareness at a table outside the Village Market.


Wilton residents volunteering for March for Change set up a table on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to raise awareness about the Feb. 14 march at the Capitol building in Hartford. The organization is hoping to draw thousands to the rally on the two-month anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown in order to demonstrate to Connecticut legislators that state constituents support stricter gun laws.

"The march is an opportunity for people to come together both those who own guns and those who do not, to find common ground for the safety of our families," said Maura Connolly, one of the Wilton volunteers who helped organize Saturday's table, said. "We want to raise awareness, continue the discussion and let our legislators know that we want to see them continue to strive for meaningful change in gun safety laws."

The Wilton group is organizing buses to Hartford on the morning of the march, leaving from the Park and Ride parking lot next to Orem's Diner. So far, they've filled two buses and are hoping to fill more. Seats cost $26 and people can buy tickets for the bus on the March for Change Web site.

Saturday's effort was directed at handing out information and helping people register for the march. The group collected donations as well as had a bake sale to raise money. Through some of the donations they hoped to sponsor bus seats for individuals in Norwalk, Stamford and Bridgeport who can't pay to ride the bus to the march, but who still want to join the rally.

Close to $1,500 was raised in just a few hours, as passers-by dropped in as much as $50 each. Several people even made donations without any of the baked goods. 

"It was overwhelming generosity from start to finish. You could just tell that people believe strongly that something needs to happen," organizer Lucy Davies told Patch.

Davies added that there were also passers-by that had a lot to say about the other side of the gun control debate. "There were a couple of people who had different opinions. They were polite, and funnily enough, even one of them gave money. Somebody said, 'I don't really believe in these kinds of restrictions,' and then stuck a $20 bill in the jar!" Davies laughed.

Wilton resident Donna Savage told Patch why she made the decision to sign up to volunteer on Saturday at the table. "I have family who work and teach in Newtown, who were directly impacted by the events there," she said. "And I think we need to raise awareness, come together and make positive change. We need to find a common place where it's safe for everyone, and we can live more peacefully together." 

The group plans on having another table later in February before the march, but Connolly encouraged others to think about all the ways they can have an impact.

"People can contribute on so many different levels," Connelly said. "You can contact your legislators—write letters and emails. The March for Change rally is going to be a really powerful physical presence of people who want to see changes, so people can come for that. They can donate to [CT Against Gun Violence]. People can sponsor a seat on a bus for someone who may not have the financial ability to pay for a seat but wants to be at the February 14 march, so they're able to go."

Concerned Parent & Gun Owner January 29, 2013 at 06:24 PM
Jlo, We should me for grilled meat and adult beverages at some point. My wife is pissed that I am spending so much time at this. Her admonishment "Why are you trying to talk send to throw who are not sensible and teach those who do not want to be taught." Sadly, I do not have a good answer for that, especially after walking into the house at 12:45am this morning when I returned from Hartford. I will be bunking with "Fido" for at least a day or two. Btw, you would have loved this. The State Police weapons experts provided a firearms 101 for the Task Force. Their lack of safe handling protocols was stunning with ARs with closed bolts and muzzles crossing people's bodies. Most comical was the Colt Carbine on which they had draped a bayonet which rattled because it was loose. Rep Dan Carter called them on it and that required them to acknowledge that that Colt was not compatible for that bayonet. Made the SP look a bit foolish to the gun folks.
Jlo January 29, 2013 at 06:36 PM
CP&GO- That sounds good! My fiance feels the same way haha, though most of my involvement has been via letter writing and trying to educate people in forums like patch, I hope it has helped. You deserve kudos for the time you have spent at the meetings, I'm not in CT at the moment but I would be joining you if I was. The state police "tutorial" sounds hilarious. I'm sure many of the officers are well trained in using these weapons but I would be willing to bet the "brass" who attend these meetings just toe the company line and probably haven't fired a gun outside of mandatory qualifications in years. Did you see the senator the other week who was waving around an AK-47 with a closed bolt and locked magazine, thumb on the trigger, safety off. It was unloaded of course but his nervous colleagues finally had to ask him to put it down!
Concerned Parent & Gun Owner January 29, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Harrison - I have just re-read this comment and I would really like you to learn more about the history of firearms and the types of models you are preaching against. Maybe we should have had that phone call. First, the modern semi-automatic handgun is over 100 YEAR OLD. It is not new and was created around the turn of the 20th century. In the USA, John Browning at the chief innovator with his most iconic pistol being the Colt 1911 which was first designed in 1911. That weapon was worn by the US Military through every major conflict in which we have been involved. Up through the 1990s, it was the most popular semi-auto pistol design among America civilian gun owners. It is highly prized for it accuracy, toughness and dependability - all attributes desireable to the military, law enforcment and citizens. NOTE, it is 100 YEARS OLD we do not have 100 years worth of rampage killers, that is a 35 year old problem. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1911_pistol Similarly, the Armalite Rifle design has been around since the mid-1950s, over 60 years. It has been sold in its semi-auto version since the mid-1960s, yet we did not have rampage shooters then. So HD, when you say "The technology coming out in guns today and the technology coming in the next few years is astonishing, amazing and even more deadly." to what do you refer? The guns CAGV wants to confiscate have been around for decades and have not seen advancements in their basic designs. It is NOT the guns!
Concerned Parent & Gun Owner January 29, 2013 at 09:30 PM
Jlo - One of the more "unfunny" moments was when the representative of the chiefs assocation asked that the police be exempted from any magazine capacity limit which was a problem in NYS. Dan Carter tried to press the chief as to why? Was it because they return home with their equipment and you would not want an "administrative" violation of the mag limit? Or, was it because LEOs are under greater risk than civilians in their off-duty hours and require a full 12, 15 or 17 rounds in their duty or off-duty weapons? The chief obsfugated but Carter pressed him again and the chief got into a discussion of how "well trained" the average LEO is and how they pose a lower threat to society than the law-abiding armed citizen. Well, that was amusing but then the chief laid a big egg. As if to suggest this was impressive, he informed all those present that LEOs have to log three hours of range time in order to take their recert and requalify. That was THREE HOURS A YEAR of range time. I was in an overflow room which errupted into howls and hoots. Obviously the chief does not know many civilian shooters who can log three hours of range time every week or two, if not more frequently. THAT was the funniest and unfunniest moment of the day.
Jlo January 29, 2013 at 09:35 PM
That is classic CP&GO! I love how he couldn't justify the double standard. Why should an off duty cop need any more rounds than a citizen is allowed?


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »