Fifth grader takes gun petition to Himes

Gunnar DeSantis stands with Congressman Jim Himes after he gave him a petition about gun control.

Gunnar DeSantis, a fifth grade Ridgefield Academy student and Redding resident, created a petition to strengthen gun regulations in Connecticut. After receiving 116 signatures, Gunnar sent the petition to Congressman Jim Himes (D-4th District).

Gunnar said that while he was in San Francisco over Christmas break, people from all over the country, and even people from Australia, signed his petition.

“I did it for the same reason that other kids have done it — to stop the tragedies,” said Gunnar. “I had a few people reject it, but almost everyone signed it.”

This is the third petition Gunnar has created.

“My first one was on polar bears to save their habitats, and my second one was on wolves and to outlaw hunting them in Idaho and Montana,” he said.

Both of those petitions garnered the attention of Mr. Himes and former Congressman Christopher Shays, he said.

Recently, when Gunnar took the gun petition to Mr. Himes, he stayed and talked with him for about a half-hour, he said.

He and Mr. Himes talked a lot about statistics and that when there is a shootout, it’s not like the movies, he said.

After gaining success from his first two petitions, Gunnar believes this one will succeed, too.

Speaking about his petition on polar bears’ habitat, Gunnar said he thought only two other people had done them. “It ended up becoming a real law. I think that really helped a lot,” he said. “This one petition might not mean much, but they really do help.”

More people, if they have the time, should reach out and sign a petition and take it to their state representative or senator, Gunnar said.

“My mom told me about petitions,” he said.

Now that Mr. Himes has Gunnar’s petition, Gunnar said he is working with another person who is against assault weapons to create new laws.

“I’m glad,” he said. “All the ideas being tossed around are good, and I’m almost positive it’ll be a positive effect when the law comes out and I think there will be some change.”

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