Arena Stage’s Molly Smith organizes Washington March for Gun Control

Yesterday marked the one month anniversary of the massacre of 6 teachers and 20 school children at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Last night, on The Rachel Maddow Show, parents of 6 year old Ben Wheeler talked with Ms. Maddow about how they, and all the parents of the Sandy Hook victims, want the country to keep working through all the issues necessary so that we keep our promise to our children, to our future, that we will keep them safe. “Parent”, David Wheeler said, is defined as ‘point of origin.'” The resolution of the problem of gun violence which occurs in this country and in this city nearly every day, needs everyone to ‘parent’ it.

As news of the loss of life of children and teachers from a shooter using a semiautomatic Bushmaster .223 rifle spread throughout the country, Arena Stage Artistic Director of Molly Smith and her partner Suzanne Blue Star were on a train heading home from New York. Molly wrote on her Facebook page, urging someone to organize an event. A few hours later, they realized it should be them, and they became Washington’s ‘point of origin’ – they launched January 26 March on Washington for Gun Control.

Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith

Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith

Working with others who have joined them, the campaign seeks to reinstate the assault weapon ban, ban high capacity ammunition magazines, require background checks for all guns, enforce a 28 day waiting period,  require mandatory gun safety training before the purchase of a gun, and  outlaw bullets that shatter in the body.

“I’m from Alaska, Molly notes on the site. “I have many friends who hunt. I am not seeking to restrict access to rifles for hunters. What does make sense are the following: a ban on assault weapons and stricter background checks. No one needs a magazine that fires 60 bullets in a few minutes.”

What we all can do

Join the march – The January 26th March begins at 10:30am at the Capitol Reflecting Pool on 3rd St. NW—across from the Museum of the American Indian, progress down Constitution Ave., ending in a rally with speeches and music at the Washington Monument northeast quadrant. Here’s the  interactive map.  You can signup to join the march, or simply show up on Saturday, January 26th.

Spread the word – To help reach as many people as possible, in as short a time as possible, Molly and Suzanne have created a Blastroots campaign page where you can sign their petition, and email and tweet your representatives.

Organizers Molly Smith and Suzanne Blue Star


Lorraine Treanor About Lorraine Treanor

Lorraine Treanor has been editor of DC Theatre Scene since 2006. She has produced plays and concerts in her hometown of Chicago, and twice in the Capital Fringe festival. Her daughter Nina Norris is an artist working in Chicago. Life's a blast because she shares it with writer Tim Treanor.


  1. Yvette Heyliger says:

    And what a wonderful March it was! I thank God for planting the seeds of inspiration in you both, and then infusing you with the grace to follow through and act on that inspiration (and within a week of President Obama’s 2nd Inauguration!) Thanks so much! PS. To begin at the Museum of the American Indian was really deep. The fact that they were probably the first victims of gun violence in this land, did not go unacknowledged by me and compelled me to say little prayer. Their lives were sacrificed to the alter of “progress,” and now America points the gun at itself.



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