When I first heard about the shooting, it was just a "headline" on the car radio, without details. I remember shaking my head, thinking another shooting somewhere in our country, but somewhere far from here, far from me. And then I continued on with my busy life.

Later, when I finally heard the details, heard that the shootings were in Newton, in my "backyard," I stopped in my tracks. I was horrified. Horrified not only from the facts of the shooting but also horrified I had been able to dismiss the headline as just another shooting, as if any shooting was acceptable. In that moment, I realized that I had become desensitized, that I had become complacent with the multitude of violent shootings that have been making their way across our country, accepting them as a way of life, just another day in America.

That was when I have decided to do something about it. On Feb. 14, the two month anniversary of Newton, I am standing with parents, citizens, seniors and children in Connecticut who are saying, "No more!" I am going to participate in March For Change -- www.MarchForChange.org -- at the state Capitol in Hartford.

It is time for us to take a stand and peacefully demand stricter gun laws.

It's time to demand that our elected officials stop kowtowing to the gun manufacturers and gun lobbyist.

It's time to send a message across this state and across this country that we will no longer be complacent.

We are either going to allow Newtown to represent what America has become or we are going to do something to change it. We can no longer sit on the sidelines. We can no longer say, "I don't get involved in politics" or "This can't happen to me."

However, it's not enough to just agree with me, you have to get involved. You can't just be sad, you have to take a stand. You can't just hope that someone else will make it better. Yesterday we all hoped it would get better and then someone with a gun came along and murdered our children, murdered our future, murdered our way of life.

Please, I ask you to join me, to join us. Take a few hours off from work, from school, from your busy lives and stand with us. Because change only happens when we all decide to do something.

If we don't take responsibility to change this craziness then who will we look to, who will we blame the next time Newtown happens?

The question we ALL have to ask ourselves is, how much closer does the violence have to get before we say stop?

Perry Liu