Wednesday, October 24, 2007

There Ought to Be A Law

"There Ought to Be A Law" will be shown at the MAIN Conference on Friday, Nov. 2nd.
To register for the conference or for more information see the contacts below.

Here's the story:

Cathy Crowley worked two, full-time jobs and devoted all of her free time to her family before her teenage son Larry's death. She had never been involved in politics, or even voted. Overcome with grief by his suicide in 2004, she went to Wal-Mart to talk to the salesperson who sold him the gun. "We were just obeying the law," the manager told her. "If you don't like it, tell your congressman."

So, Cathy did just that. She sat at her kitchen table for 10 hours one July day and wrote to every single elected official in the Maine legislative directory. A state legislator agreed to sponsor a bill on her behalf that would require a 10-day waiting period before young people could buy guns.

The legislation came at a time of growing concern about youth suicide in Maine, which has the highest rate in New England. Maine also has among the highest gun ownership per capita in the country, and most youth suicides are committed with guns.

Cathy devoted every free moment to passage of the bill and enlisted her family's help. At first, it seemed likely to sail through the Legislature. But the National Rifle Association mounted a behind-the-scenes campaign to defeat it.

"There Ought to Be A Law" shows Cathy's transformation from a shy, "average Mom" to a savvy activist who buttonholes lawmakers and negotiates with committee chairmen as she takes on one of the most powerful and feared lobbying groups in the country.

Two years in the making, "There Ought to Be A Law" gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at how the Maine Legislature operates, and how average people can get involved in the process. The film will be distributed to schools and organizations encouraging civic activism.

The film was co-produced by Anita Clearfield and Geoffrey Leighton of Durham and Shoshana Hoose of Portland. The Center for Independent Documentary in Sharon, Mass. sponsored the project. Funders include the Point Harbor Fund of the Maine Community Foundation and the Eleanor Humes Haney Fund.

CALL: Chris at 626-7058 ext 204 or toll-free 1-866-626-7059 ext 204


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