A group of local mothers, inspired after the Newtown, Connecticut shootings, is taking a stand against gun violence, and is turning sorrow and fear into positive action.
As tearful toddlers ran into the arms of their distraught parents, anyone watching the news coverage of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School realized there were parents in Newtown who wouldn't be be taking their children home. And the nation felt helpless.
"The age of the children, and the fact that I have a child that's school age, really just hit home to me, knowing that could have been my daughter," says Melissa, a Cleveland mother, who asked that her last name not be used.
Call it maternal instinct, but Melissa felt the urge to protect. After a quick search on Facebook just days following the Connecticut tragedy, Melissa found a group -- One Million Moms for Gun Control. A friend started the Cleveland chapter of this online grassroots effort to get gun laws changed.
"We can write letters, we can send emails, we can get the word around to our neighbors and friends that may or may not have children," says the concerned mother.
One Million Moms for Gun Control specifically advocates to reinstate the ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, close loopholes that allow private sales of guns without background checks at gun shows, set limits on the amount of ammunition a person can purchase, and limit concealed weapons laws at the state level.
In less than a month, more than 19,000 people have "liked" their national facebook page. There are 60 chapters nationwide and the Northeast Ohio chapter is gaining followers daily.
"There are things that, I feel if we get enough people on board, we can make change," says Melissa.
There are no group meetings or mandatory letter campaigns. On the website, organizers are asking people to click on a link that will lead them to a petition they can sign.
There are also places on the website to donate, and to find volunteer opportunities. The group is not affiliated with a political party or religious group.