Thousands gather for gun control rally

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- The tragedy at Sandy Hook, which happened two months ago today, spurred two Connecticut moms to organize the biggest pro gun control rally ever seen at the State Capitol.

There were seven buses full of people from Newtown, multiple buses from many other cities and towns, and nearly 50 bus loads in all.

"I wish to add my voice on behalf of my son to the voices of so many of you...who are calling for," said Veronique Pozner, mother of Sandy Hook victim.

The Capitol Police estimated Thursday's crowd at more than 5,000 with a massive message for the NRA that contends that gun laws do not need to be changed.

"How could anyone think that my son, or any of those whose lives were stolen that day, were so disposable that it is acceptable to do nothing," questioned Pozner.

From Newtown to Bridgeport, and from Weston to Hartford, the rally brought together the pain of the unthinkable in the affluent suburb and the nearly daily pain of gun violence in the state's cities.

"My prayers go out to the families of Newtown, but in these urban cities, we're confronted with this problem every single day," said Robert Thompson, father of shooting victim. "Something has to be done." 
And from a Hartford mother who had to be comforted by her husband because the pain of the murder of her son 10 years ago is still too fresh.

"I do feel your pain," said Henrietta Beckman, mother of shooting victim. "There's a pain that will never ever go away, but we can keep the memories of them alive forever by standing up."

Perhaps the biggest cheers came for a victim of the Virginia Tech shooting, who still carries three of the bullets in his body from that day.

"We must challenge any politician who thinks it's easier to ask an elementary school teacher to stand up to a gunman with an AR-15 than it is to ask that politician to stand up to a gun lobbyist with a check book," said Colin Goddard, Virginia Tech survivor.

A stricter ban on assault style weapons, a ban on high capacity ammunition magazines, and universal background checks; those were among the law changes advocated Thursday.

Via text and in person, the organizers worked to get the e-mail addresses of everyone there, so that everyone can keep up the pressure on legislature.

"We know it's going to take a while, but we're just giving our voice, hoping to be heard by Connecticut and other states around the area...that it's time for a change," said Leslie Trudell, of Newtown.

"I think people misunderstand the second amendment," said Frank Davis, of Woodbury, "too many people think it's a license for any weapons that people want to carry, I think that we need some sanity in this."

Lawmakers have said that in the past when they held hearings on gun restrictions, only gun owning gun control opponents show up, but rally organizers are hoping this turnout shows that Sandy Hook has changed all that.

"They have the resources and the organization, from what I hear, to really come together," said Jackie Gaudet, of New Milford, but there's a big reason now for us to come together."
Leaders of both political parities from the Governor on down pledged that change will happen.
Sources tell News 8 that legislative leaders expect to be meeting over the next week to see what can actually pass.

Copyright 2014 WTNH TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Connecticut (change)

Connecticut has 169 cities and towns, which serve as the fundamental local political subdivision of the state. Connecticut is the 5th of the original thirteen United States.
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Governor: Dan Malloy
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