COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – A few dozen people marched down High Street in Columbus chanting about protecting babies not guns, headed to the same destination they always end up — the West Plaza Statehouse steps.
They carried signs calling for the ban of assault weapons, for lawmakers to “do their job” and “tighten Ohio gun laws” or “close loopholes now.”
Some of the signs were carried by people from as far away as Cleveland and Cincinnati.
It is the same walk some of them have made before, with the same call to action, hoping this time for a different result.
Organizers of the rally were appreciative of the modest turnout, but they were also frank about what will be needed to accomplish their goals.
The few dozen people speckled about the West Plaza of the Statehouse aren’t going to change anyone’s mind, and they know it.
“If we could fill this plaza up with people who are saying, ‘Enough of this!’ If we could fill this plaza up and let them know that we are not fooling with them, that they’ve got to do something,” said Rev. Susan Smith.
Filling the plaza is no easy task — it’s huge — but there have been some issues that people found important enough to draw thousands to the Statehouse for a well-organized event.
In the meantime, people with a passion for change made the trip to Columbus to support the efforts made on Wednesday.
Tracey Hoelzle had the day off of work and came from Cincinnati. She carried a sign that read, “But I thought you were pro-life.”
Hoelzle said she’s a Catholic who is frustrated, disappointed and confused by lawmakers.
“I’m very concerned that there is a lot of conservatives, a lot of Republicans who are pro-life about abortion and it stops there,” Hoelzle said.
It is a similar stance to one taken the previous evening by Republican State Senator Peggy Lehner, a staunch pro-life advocate. She also told her Republican colleagues she “can no longer stand on the sidelines on gun safety.”
She said, “I’ve been there too long.”
People at the rally on Wednesday claim lawmakers are beholden to the NRA and that the special interest group is buying lawmakers support with campaign funds to get them re-elected.
They also said the will of the people is stronger than that of money, so they are working toward voting out lawmakers who do not support reforms.
They admit, however, that gerrymandering of the state’s district maps is an obstacle that frustrates them, but it will not deter their efforts.