Local and national leaders, joined by members of the DC area theatre community, will take part in Saturday’s March on Washington for Gun Control in support of President Obama’s plan for preventing gun violence.
Begun by Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith and American Indian rights activist Suzanne Blue Star Boy, the event begins at 10am at the U.S. Capitol Reflecting Pool east of Third Street, NW, across from the National Museum of the American Indian*. At 11 a.m., marchers will walk in silence along Constitution Avenue to the Washington Monument carrying hundreds of white signs, each bearing the name of a gun-violence victim. Joined by Newtown residents, the District of Columbia’s Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Vincent Gray, and Councilmembers David Grosso, Kenyan McDuffie and Tommy Wells will lead the March carrying a banner that reads “When we stand together, we stand a chance.”
Once the event reaches the Washington monument, the speakers will include Congresswoman Norton , Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund, actress Kathleen Turner, Virginia Tech massacre survivor Colin Goddard , and Shannon Watts, founder of One Million Moms for Gun Control, which, last week, lent its support as co-sponsors.
When Molly Smith and Suzanne Blue Star Boy first put out the call for this March, the theatre community responded. Artists such as Catherine Tripp, Jason McCool, and Nicholas Yenson joined as organizers. Matthew Gardiner, Associate Artistic Director of Signature Theatre has cast more than 20 singers who will perform “Imagine” and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” at the Washington Monument.
The March on Washington for Gun Control is calling for Congress and state legislatures to do the following:
- Reinstate and strengthen the federal ban on the sale of military-style assault rifles such as the one used to kill 20 children and 6 teachers in Newtown
- Ban the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines that kill many people quickly
- Require universal criminal and mental-health background checks for all firearm buyers
- Prohibit sales of bullets that shatter inside the body
- Require gun-safety training for all buyers of firearms
The President, in presenting his gun control package, acknowledged that achieving these goals will be difficult, and calls on all Americans for help. The March on Washington for Gun Control is a first step.
* The March starting point can be reached via Washington Metrorail stations at Capitol South, Federal Center SW or Union Station or by parking at Union Station.