Still, the different causes do not typically spill into one another as seamlessly as they did today, with the March for Change directly preceding One Billion Rising.
The March for Change marked two months since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
Among those calling for safer gun laws was actor Christine Baranski, who told the 5,500 activists, “even if you have a gun to defend your home or for sport, thanks for supporting commonsense changes.”
Messaging was consistent in the large crowd that sprawled out onto snowbanks surrounding the Capitol; nobody was asking to take all guns away.
The message from speakers was also consistent: today was the day to speak up. Denise Merrill, Connecticut’s Secretary of the State, said, “today we are here to be the new, not-so-quiet majority.”
Governor Malloy spoke to how appropriate it was for the rally to take place in Hartford, where hundreds of lives have been lost to gun violence.
To much applause, Malloy stated, “every gun purchased needs to be approved, needs to be checked.”
Malloy said that allowing the federal assault weapon ban to expire “has not made us a stronger union.”
As long as there is a delay, innocent individuals will continue to die, Malloy said, because “we failed to act.”
“We will not rest until we have changed America,” Governor Malloy promised.
Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, acknowledging the signs declaring hearts broken, told the crowd and cameras, “our spirit is not broken.”
Demanding background checks and responsibility, Wyman said those holding guns should not be people who “are going to hunt our children.”
George Jepsen, Attorney General of Connecticut, said he’d never “addressed people [standing] on a 15′ snowdrift.”
Not all were standing. A few brought chairs.
As the conversation around gun violence is prone to false dichotomy, Jepsen suggested that this matter is more complicated than changing laws.
“We need to change a culture than tolerates gun violence,” Jepsen said.
Jepsen added, “Changing social attitudes is long and hard, but it’s something that can be done.”