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Villager Pledges Money to End Gun Violence with Students' Help

John Bykowsky will donate $1 for every Ridgewood student who walks 27 minutes at school on Friday.

Shaken by the , a Ridgewood man is pledging to donate big dollars – with the help of students – to end gun violence in America.

If John Bykowsky's vision comes to form, you'll see thousands of Ridgewood students walking around the schools on Friday as a loose extension of a national remembrance march for the 27 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

"Everytime I look at a six-year-old kid I see how tender they are, how beautiful they are," Bykowsky, a father of two, said. "The thought of shooting one is just devastating...I can't even fathom it. It's unbelievable."

The Ridgewood resident is pledging to donate $1 for every student who walks 27 minutes at their school on Friday, whether it be before, during or after school hours. The check will be issued to The Brady Center to End Gun Violence, a non-profit group with aims to create stricter gun control laws.

With roughly 5,900 students in the district, his check could be nearly $6,000. Students will tell the main office of their respective school if they've walked and Bykowsky will add the tally to determine the amount he donates, he said.

Bykowsky promised to donate $1,000 regardless of how many students walk. 

The villager does not know if his plan – hastily hatched and without any coordination with the schools – will be effective, but he feels compelled to send a message of unity with the children.

The events of Friday reinforce Bykowsky's belief that guns are far too accessible in the U.S. A line has to be drawn somewhere, he said.

"Right now it's the first real time I've sensed people willing to budge," he said Thursday. "There seems to be a bit more willingness to listen. It's like a watershed moment."

Concerned Ridgewood Dad December 23, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Michael J-D Let's take your line of reasoning further... why stop at armed guards in schools? Why not just allow any person over 18 years of age to have any type of assulat weapon (shy of fully automatic machine guns) they please on their person at all times? Sure they'll need a symbolic "background check" but for the most part anyone could get a gun. They could conceal it if they choose or proudly wear it slung over their shoulder. Little league games, no problem. Ben & Jerry's, sure - why not? Subway or bus? yup & yup. Church? Absolutely. Now, what happens when some deranged nut like Adam Lanza starts shooting up 5th Ave while thousands of people are window shopping around Christmas time? The NRA would have you believe that one of the hundreds of law abiding citizens who's packing their AR-15 right around Lanza "blows is head clean off" with one shot and saves the day. Reality would probably be much different. A dozen wood be Dirty Harry's start firing in the general direction of Lanza, perhaps taking him out, perhaps not. In the confusion, nobody knows who's the bad guy who started firing first which leads to a chain reaction of more people shooting more guns at more people. Where does it stop? How could it stop? It wouldn't...just imagine the terror of that scene. I've said it before and I'll repeat it again. This country needs comprehensive - no loophole gun control laws NOW, not more guns.
Ridgewood Mom December 23, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Michael J-D, If if it were MY loved one in that school, a couple of fewer guns would have been the answer that would have saved that loved one's life. That's right, a few less of the legal kind of guns that only "responsible" gun owners are supposed to get to have. The one's that crazy people aren't supposed to get.
Glenn Hefferan December 23, 2012 at 10:56 PM
dat.... yes, simplistic and a great way to fix it.... problems is, it doesn't create enough drama and conflict. What would the headlines be: "People from all corners got together and worked out a great solution" That's no fun for the partisans the people that want us divided.
Glenn Hefferan December 23, 2012 at 11:29 PM
I guess no one saw the riot that occurred in Chino, CA at a youth football game, where the police had to show up in riot gear. Again, we need to first stop pointing at inanimate objects... and start with our own behavior. Getting rid of the assault weapons will not guarantee against mass school shootings; all it will guarantee is that LAW ABIDING CITIZENS will no longer have assault weapons. Any weapons can be modified after the fact. The kids at RHS play Dart Wars and modify their dart guns... you are deluding yourself if think someone bent on evil and murder can't or won't modify their weapons of choice to be capable of the most destruction. Amazingly, everyone seem to think it was a great idea to have police in school, when President Clinton suggested it after Columbine. Gun laws does not address human behavior.
dst December 23, 2012 at 11:52 PM
There WERE armed guards @ Columbine in 1999...

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