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CNN Today

Million Mom March Against Gun Violence to Kick Off This Weekend

Aired May 12, 2000 - 2:41 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Donna Dees-Thomases is the organizer of the Million Mom March. This was her all idea several months ago. She joins us from Washington.

Donna, thanks for being with us.

DONNA DEES-THOMASES, ORGANIZER OF MILLION MOM MARCH: Thank you, Natalie.

ALLEN: Well, we're just two days away from this event that you have put so much work into. How does it feel?

DEES-THOMASES: Well, Natalie, this isn't really my event the work and effort of thousands and thousands of women across the country who are working their hardest to make this a tremendous success on Sunday. We are working to get out the numbers, to get the people out, Mother's Day, May 14, to say we are sick and tired of the gun violence in this country and we're sick and tired of the poor excuses that we're getting from our congressmen on why they can't do anything about it.

ALLEN: Well, you certainly started the ball rolling on this. I know there had been shooting after shooting at schools, and then there was the daycare shooting in Los Angeles, and that's where you got this idea. Tell us about that and how that influenced you as we see the video from that day.

DEES-THOMASES: What I'm finding out from mothers across the country, we all have our breaking points, and for me, that was mine. I have children exact same age as those children, and I thought these could have been my kids why haven't I don't something? So, you know, I have some media savvy, I have some public relations skills, so what I did was I put together a plan to see if I could get mothers involved, and you know what? It didn't take much effort. They were ready. They just wanted some direction, something to do.

We're planning this march. It's been a nine month effort. You know how much we moms can accomplished in nine months. And we are going to give birth on Mother's Day to a major grassroots move in this country to end the gun violence. We're sick and tired of it.

ALLEN: It has been amazing the number of moms you've gotten involved in this. Tell us about that. I know 100,000 hits on your Web site regularly. Tell us what you've learned about the nation's mothers, because you're up against a very tough gun lobby. Do you think the mothers are up to the task?

DEES-THOMASES: I've got to tell you something, they should be frightened. We have pretty tough moms onboard. They they are sick of it. They are tired of the excuses. They want to do something. They're ready to roll up their sleeves after Mother's Days and get to work. We no longer gets called every day about what hotel to stay in or where the buses should park. We get calls every day about how we can move forward in this movement. So the gun lobby should look out, because we're sick and tired of it. We're ready to move. We're going to make a difference in this country, and we're going to roll up our sleeves and start May 15.

ALLEN: What do you want specifically as far as changes in gun laws?

DEES-THOMASES: We are asking for such common sense measures that it is a disgrace we have to march on Washington for such simple things as licsensing and registration. We have to get up to speed with the other civilized countries that have this that allow handguns. We should treat handguns with the same respect that we treat automobile. All handgun owners should be licensed. Handguns should be registered. That way we have accountability. That way someone will think twice before giving their handgun away or selling it to someone who shouldn't have it.

ALLEN: Will we hearing from moms at this rally who've lost children to gun violence?

DEES-THOMASES: We're going to hear from mothers from all walks of life, mothers who have lost children, mothers like myself who do not want to lose children, a lot of inspirational speakers. We have performers, ranging from Melissa Manchester to Amy Lou Harris. It's going to be really -- we hope to be a very inspirational day, something that we can all look back on maybe in the next 25 years to say, you know, I was there, I was there at the turning point when we finally took our country back from the gun lobby.

ALLEN: Donna Des-Thomases, thank you for joining us.

DEES-THOMASES: Thank you.

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