HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — A group of North Shore women are turning their anger into action following the mass shooting in Highland Park that killed seven people and left dozens more injured.
Kitty Brandtner, a mom of three kids under five, mobilized a group to ‘March Fourth’ in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, July 13. Brandtner told WGN News the motivation is not political but stems from her fears about her kids’ safety.
‘They (expletive) with the wrong moms,” Brandtner said, who was at the Winnetka Fourth of July parade when she received what she described as a horrifying call.
“I have friends that were running for their lives. I have a friend that shared a blanket with a now orphaned 2-year-old,” Brandtner said. “It’s not OK and we’re done.”
Brandtner fielded calls in the days that followed and quickly organized an event that has since gained much traction.
“We’re just going to go to DC and scream at the top of our lungs until they do something,” she said.
Brandtner said the group’s initiative honors the Highland Park victims in a nation marred by mass shootings.
“I was sick of just crying and sitting in inaction, feeling powerless and helpless and thought maybe some other people feel the same way,” Brandtner said.
Many agreed with Brandtner’s sentiments, as hundreds of people have already RSVP’d for the peaceful protest, where the group will call on the ban of assault weapons. The group will also call upon the federal government to mandate universal background checks.
A GoFundMe to help the women’s mission has already raised more than $30,000.
“Let’s try it, that’s all I’m saying. If it doesn’t work in a year, let’s try something else,” Brandtner said. “But let’s try something.”
Brandtner said she wants to raise her children in a better world and hopes taking action will lead to change.
“I have nothing else to live for than to make sure my kids are safe,” the mom of three said. “So it’s either this, fix it, or I’m getting the hell out of this country.”