That Day Molly Smith Led a Protest on Gun Control

Molly Smith at Gun March on DC

It wasn’t hard to spot the gun control crowd marching on Washington last Saturday. They were the ones all the tourists were pointing at.

OH: “Who are all those people over there?”
OH: “You think something’s wrong?”
OH: “Oh it’s one of those anti-gun groups.”
OH: “Get out of the picture, Fred!”

In fact, the March on Washington for Gun Control was not one group but a few – groups like One Million Moms for Gun Control and folks from the mayor’s office, plus Arena Stage’s Molly Smith, who organized the whole thing (unaffiliated with the theater).

I ran into the march while headed toward the National Gallery of Art for my birthday. So obviously I took a detour; because nothing says celebrate like partisan politics and national tragedy.

who would have to die

Marchers held up signs with the names of people who have died from gun violence.

Marchers at DC gun protest

The event started on 3rd Street in front of the Capitol Reflecting Pool, and ended just north of the Washington Monument.

Another Against

Other signs said “father,” “taxpayer,” and “Episcopalian.”

DC Gun March

As an avid protest observer, I can attest: these folks in back were so quick on their feet they almost made it the 5k Race for Gun Control.

Mayor Gray

Mayor Gray turned out, with Molly Smith serving as MC.

counter protestor

There were counter-protestors too, of course.

counter protest distance

But the bureaucracy kept them a football field away.

guarding the protest

And the cavalry made sure no one used the event to make some sort of psychopathic statement.

By the way, next time you’re stumped on weekend plans, head over to the National Mall on a Saturday morning around 10am. You’re bound to see an interesting crowd and get an earful from people passionate about something. You may vehemently disagree with them, but sometimes it’s nice to be jolted out of apathy.

And if it’s unpleasant? You only have some of the best museums in the world right there to make you feel better.

Joanna moved to DC in 2010 knowing she’d love it, and as usual she was right. She enjoys eating fried things, drinking scotch and smoking cigars, and makes up for the damage done by snacking on organic oats and barley and walking long distances to wherever with her dog Henry. Joanna now lives with her husband and said dog in Los Angeles, and they all miss DC terribly. Follow her on Twitter or contact her at

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