Born in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. shootings last month, One MillionMoms for Gun Control held several similar rallies last week to mark the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and the civil rights leader's legacy of nonviolence. Local chapters that were unable to hold rallies on the King Holiday selected Saturday, Jan. 26 as an alternate day on which to rally for gun control. A national march on Washington was also planned for the 26th.
The organization's mission is to advocate for a ban on assault weapons, a ban on ammunition magazines of more than 10 rounds, and more stringent background checks for gun purchasers. The organization also wants to see changes in concealed weapons laws at the state level and wants the sale of large quantities of guns and ammunition to be reported to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
"One Million Moms for Gun Control - NJ has been overwhelmed by the response of our New Jersey elected officials, especially Mayor Healy's office," said Mandi Perlmutter, organizer of the organization's North Jersey chapter. "As we rally together, we want to send a powerful message to Washington that we will not back down. We demand reform."
"We have been advocating for a federal cure for this federal plague of gun violence for years," said Healy. "While New Jersey is often used as a model for common sense gun legislation, we know that without federal action, we will continue to lose countless lives to gun violence. We need to have our voices heard, so that the National Riffle Association and those federal legislators who capitulate to them, will know we are just as strong as the gun lobby."
Earlier this month, Healy called for a gun buyback, which took 164 firearms off the streets of Jersey City. - E. Assata Wright