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Local moms joining march

May 12, 2000|By SCOTT BUTKI

A contingent of about 14 people from Shepherdstown, W.Va., are among the Tri-State area residents attending Sunday's Million Mom March in the nation's capital.

Many of them are members of Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church, but the church is not sponsoring their trip.

One, Karen Winget, said she wanted to help do something to try to curb gun violence.

Lily Hill of Shepherdstown said concern about gun violence sparked her participation as well.

"It's children growing up in fear and parents and grandparents fearing for them. It is the fact that children are being shot on school playgrounds and at the National Zoo," she said.

"Wherever we always assumed we would be safe we now have to worry about our children."

The march participants are not asking people to give up their guns, but are saying there should be required testing and registration, she said.

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Also going is the Kradel family: Paul and Diane and their son, Matt.

They heard about the march and said, "Well, that sounds like a good thing to do," Paul Kradel said.

They saw it as a way of not only fighting against gun violence but also as a way to celebrate Mother's Day, said Kradel, who thinks there should be more licensing of handguns.

"You have a driver's license to drive a car, and a hunting license to hunt," he said. Yet, having a handgun around the house is more dangerous than hunting, he said.

Donna Dees-Thomases, a public relations executive from Short Hills, N.J., and the leader of Sunday's march, said 150,000 people are expected to participate. They will gather on the National Mall.

Most of the participants will be mothers, fathers and children who have not participated in demonstrations before, Dees-Thomases said. She said Sunday's rally will discourage partisan politics by keeping political figures off the stage and focusing on individuals who will tell their personal stories of gun violence.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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