I am writing to share with readers my recent experience of wanting to make a difference in my hometown in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre, and of finding fellow Glendale residents, homeowners, parents and more who wanted to do the same.

Dedicating ourselves to the swift passage of an ordinance now being drafted that would move the Glendale Gun Show off public property and prohibit the sale of firearms and ammunition at city-owned facilities, my friends and neighbors have united under the name Coalition for a Better Glendale (CABG), and launched a website at coalitionforabetterglendale.wordpress.com.

In recent weeks, our group’s members have addressed the City Council, as well as other city commissions and boards. We have told personal stories and raised concerns about alcohol sales, inadequate security and other terms of the city's contract with the Glendale Gun Show operator.

We have pointed out that, unlike gun shows held at huge venues such as county fairgrounds, the Glendale Gun Show is nestled in a residential neighborhood and close to elementary schools, parks, churches and Glendale Community College. Above all, we have expressed the belief that, at this moment in our nation's history, it is time for our city to take the lead.

We are not talking about barring gun shows from private-owned property in Glendale. We are talking about taking a single, simple yet significant step: getting our city out of the gun-show business. For 20 years, the Glendale Gun Show has been held on city-owned property. Beginning now, beginning this year, this must change.

The Coalition for a Better Glendale believes that together we can make a difference. We urge the City Council to finish what it has started and pass a law that says, "Not here. Not now. Not in our name."

Joal Ryan
Glendale