Sunday, April 16, 2000

Pro-gun moms planning own march

Group aims to counter rally for gun control

BY Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Next to the high-powered .25-caliber Mauser rifle was a plate of chocolate chip cookies.

        Behind the cookies and a pile of petitions sat Catie Berry, a 48-year-old mother and member of the Second Amendment Sisters — an organization that plans to march in Washington, D.C., on May 14 — Mother's Day — to express opposition to gun control.

        The Armed Informed Mothers March aims to counter a demonstration on the same day called the Million Mom March by a group that says it supports “commonsense gun policy.”

        Ms. Berry collected signatures and tried to drum up support for her organization and the march Saturday during a gun show at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

        “I just feel those women (in the Million Mom March) don't speak for all women,” Ms. Berry said. “I don't want to be hindered in protecting myself.

        “We have enough gun control laws on the books. Let's enforce what we have.”

        Rene Thompson says she doesn't want to speak for Ms. Berry. Ms. Thompson is the Kentucky coordinator for the Million Mom March and will be in Washington.

        “We just want proactive laws,” Ms. Thompson said. “There are certain people who shouldn't own guns — children, criminals — and they should not be able to slip through a loophole, go to a gun show and buy a firearm.”

        The Web page for the Second Amendment Sisters opens with a picture of a woman holding what appears to be a shotgun and a telephone. Below the picture, it says: “Two shots to stop. One to make sure. Reload. Call 911.”

        The Armed Informed Mothers March will start northwest of the Washington Monument and proceed five blocks to the Capitol.

        Kimberly Watson, one of the founders of the Dallas- based organization, said the goal of the countermarch is to let Congress know that the Million Moms do not speak for them.

        “We will not stand for having our right to defend our families ripped away,” Ms. Watson says on the Web page.

        The Million Mom March has its own Web site. It says the organization supports laws requiring handgun owners to be licensed and guns registered. It also says handgun manufacturers should design guns with built-in safety locks.


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