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March set to push for gun control

By KATHERINE SNOW SMITH

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 13, 2000


While the national spotlight is on the Million Mom March in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, about 500 "mothers and others" here are expected to march across the Friendship Trail from Tampa to St. Petersburg to show support for stronger gun control.

"The Tampa Bay response has just been awesome," said Kim Stanford, local organizer of the Mother's Day march across the old Gandy Bridge. Along with hundreds of Tampa Bay supporters, mothers from Orlando, Ocala and Daytona Beach are coming.

Stanford says mothers' love for their children and their anger at the violence they live with are fueling the enthusiasm for the march.

"As moms we're outraged," she said. "We carry this child for nine months. We give birth to it and we watch it grow and form its own personality, and then someone irresponsible can snuff that out."

Registration for the march starts at noon on Sunday at the Tampa side of the trail just off Gandy Boulevard. People will start making their way across at 1 p.m. A rally on the St. Petersburg side will start about 2.

The rally will begin with 12 children, each ringing a bell to signify the 12 children who die each day because of gun violence or accidental shootings. Two mothers who lost their children to gun violence will speak to the crowd, along with Tampa City Council member Bob Buckhorn and Tom Burke, the local representative of Handgun Control, the Washington-based group headed by Sarah Brady.

For more information, call Kim Stanford at (813) 837-5902 or check the local march Web site at http://welcome.to/tampabayrave.

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