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On Guns, Mothers Have Had Enough

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Shannon Watts

It is our greatest hope that President Obama will make it clear in his State of the Union address that his main priority in the coming year will be pushing new and stronger gun laws through Congress. Yes, there is much work we need to do as a country, but nothing is more important than the safety of our children and families.

For too long, the conversation about gun violence in America has been controlled by those who stand to profit from easy access to guns. In the meantime, American families continue to be destroyed by gun violence. Mothers have had enough, and we will no longer stand by and let Congress turn its back on sensible gun laws.

We hope that in his State of the Union address, the President will recognize that there is a new groundswell of mothers who, because of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, are standing up and testifying at public hearings, packing town hall meetings, holding marches and rallies, and demanding stronger gun laws. We are accidental activists, and we are the wave of change in America.

Shannon Watts is the founder of One Million Moms for Gun Control, a bi-partisan grassroots movement of American mothers demanding new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that have jeopardized the safety of our children and families. In just 8 weeks, One Million Moms for Gun Control has garnered tens of thousands of members and established 80 local chapters across the country. 

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  • Momagg

    Our precious Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear late Eighteenth Century muskets and other antique weaponry. The Constitution does not guarantee the right to bear Twenty-first Century guns, other firearms and related weaponry.

  • Anonymous

    Children dying all over this country, adults too, is it worth it just to lug a gun around? Maybe it will and maybe it won’t help you when you are in a pickle, I’ve seen it go both ways. Sorry but there really is no safety around someone determined to kill you. How about we start looking into why so many of our neighbors want to strike out in this way. Maybe we can help them to see the folly of solving their problems this way, if not lets make sure they cannot possess a gun until their thinking unit is working tip top. Notice how lately so many of these attackers come from the military? Now we have an ex-cop on the rampage? These people have been trained to solve problems with violence. That warps the brain. Lets Gandhi-up with a little peaceful problem solving. I bet it would help a lot. Our children have this strange need…they want to grow up. I want them too as well.

  • Bill Collins

    You may want to consider that you are exercising your First Amendment rights when you post your comment using a laptop/tablet/smartphone that did not exist until just a very few years ago. Unless you want to only share your ideas using a quill pen and a Gutenberg press, you should make a different argument.

  • Carolyn Cobb Martin

    OK, Bill, how about this argument. I was at the National Archivesa a couple of weeks ago looking at the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. Looking at the development in that display of the Bill of Rights, the 2nd amendment appears to be an afterthought. The founding fathers wrote that the 4 Pillars of Freedom were religion, speech,assembly and press and are considered THE foundation of democracy. So, the founding fathers were most concerned about these 4 freedoms being the basis of democracy and the route to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The first drafts of the Bill of Rights never even mention guns. I realize this has been debated in the Supreme Court and that it has handed down it’s ruling of what the 2nd amendment is. And I realize that the Federalerist Papers conflict somewhat from the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. And I’m not a constitutional scholar by any means. And the founding fathers provided for the amendment of the Constitution and it also provided for the repealing amendments. It’s inevitable that amendments will be added over time. And therefore amendments can be added that would repeal or redefine amendments. NOW is the time to do that very thing. The laws pertaining to guns must be changed. Our lives depend on it.

  • Gunriddance

    It is indeed shocking to have an ex-cop a perpetrator. But not really surprising. Police abuse in many parts of the US has been rampant for decades — even in the District of Columbia, where a former mayor courted favor by establishing a Civilian Police Review Board. It was overwhelmed with complaints, did little or nothing about them, and was finally disbanded by the same mayor — who, incidentally, has served time for prohibited substance abuse.

  • Gunriddance

    Seems to me, Ms Martin, that you are a far sharper constitutional scholar than most of our fellow countrymen (including the five conservative horsemen on our current Supreme Court, who differ markedly on Second Amendment interpretation than all previous supreme courts). The Court is supposed to be guided by original intent, and that was not done regarding right to establish militias in the Amendment. I’m with you; let’s re-do the Second Amendment as we did with the Eighteenth.

  • Anonymous

    I think Momagg was saying that the founders did not anticipate the futures ability to create weapons of mass destruction. If they had they might have put more limits on usage. The founders were however so much wiser than us in that they made the constitution a living document meant to be changed as the future changed. Now we have people who think it is all written in stone and that you can never touch some these rights even as they bring us to our knees in pain and suffering. Who are the smart ones?

  • Anonymous

    Ultimately, the founding fathers were wise enough to realize that the four foundational freedoms are ultimately protected and hedged about by this “afterthought.” At current rates it would take over 800 years of US gun homicides to rack up the devastation Hitler accomplished in a few years. Tyrants have always posed a greater threat to society (and its children) than have the lot of thugs and crackpots. I hope you and others with genuine concern come to this same wise realization.

  • Karen s

    Don’t forget the grandmas against gun violence. While I was growing up, I never feared for my life at school or on the bus or at the park. Now I take my little grandson to the park and I’m on edge and very much keeping a watchful eye out for trouble. We do not live in a free society any longer. We have lost our souls and morals and guns have a lot to do with this. Human life has no value. We implore our leaders to take action on guns,violent movies, and those terrible video games. I realize that there are some Americans making billions from the guns,movies and games. To them I say shame on you. what would your Grandma say about what you are doing. This grandma says SHAME ON YOU!!!

  • Mom Found A Gun

    Decrease hostility and hatred and you’ll decrease gun violence.

  • Kevin Abrehart

    guns don’t kill ppl, ppl kill ppl, are they going to put bans on knives, hammers, baseball bats…etc..when someone goes off and kills with one of those tools…a gun is just a tool, its how the operator uses it that makes it dangerous….reduce the prescribed fda pharmaceuticals and make ppl use cannabis and this would never of happened…had the guy smoked a fat joint that morning this never would of happened…wake up america…the government is causing the human decline with their mind controlling drugs…cannabis is all natural and lets your mind expand and be free, just what the governmnt doesn’t want…

  • Rational Thinker

    Gun laws are not the problem…Conn. had most of the gun control laws presently being pushed and they did precious little to stop Adam Lanza.

    He stole guns he used, (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW),
    He shot and kills his mother (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW),
    He transported the stolen guns loaded (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW),
    He took the stolen guns onto school property (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW),
    He broke into the school (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW),
    He discharged the weapons within city limits (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW),
    He murdered 26 additional people (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW),
    And he commited suicide (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW).

    If you haven’t noticed, people like this are not concerned about breaking laws –
    they only care about fulfilling their own twisted agenda. The only people that the proposed gun-control laws would impact are LAW ABIDING CITIZENS, which would only serve to cripple their ability to protect themselves.

  • Gadabout

    Where is the out rage over Abortion ? It kills far more children than all the guns do !!

  • Tim

    So you agree that the first amendment does not guarantee free speech via the use of computers, telephones and an electro mechanical printing press… Really, i find this “argument” the most uninformed of all.

  • Mark Swantkowski

    That’s a good point, but makes an argument that people who oppose abortion, should also oppose the proliferation of guns in the US… After all, right to life should encompass all threats to life, no?…

  • Pat Hines

    We freedom and liberty advocates will NOT permit progressive-fascists of the Gun Confiscation Lobby to be successful in their new push.

    Those who think like the author of this essay should simply put new gun confiscation laws right out of their collective or individual minds, you’re wasting your time.

  • graywolf

    The vast majority of violence, gun or otherwise, occurs in our inner cities. If we really want to do something about violence, we would do well to address the problems of poverty, lack of equality in education and opportunity and loss of hope.

  • Debi Marion

    Shannon, better put some face and brown faces behind her new ad..or she will not have this white girl on her side..I didn’t like her ad..I found it insulting!!!

  • Jeni

    I really wish people like you would stop assuming they have the right to speak for everyone. I am a mother. I have three children. I would prefer to teach them the responsible method for using guns than to hide the guns from them. I prefer to take responsibility for making my children responsible citizens than hiding things that could hurt them from them. Ignorance of a thing does not make the world safer. Proper teaching does. DO NOT assume you speak for me in your message. DO NOT take away MY children’s rights to protect themselves because you all are too scared to learn how to use a gun properly. DO NOT assume that criminals will obey your STUPID gun laws… because they won’t.

  • Jo Blank

    I’m a grandmother and a retired teacher ,I would like to be part of your group and do what I can to urge this congress to show some compassion and intelligence by passing gun controls !

  • Aaron Petterborg

    Most of these posts speak of gun rights, not gun problems, which is what this article is really about. I am pro-Second Amendment. What does that mean?

    * I accept that more guns in this world, acquired and used legally or otherwise, results in generally more deaths, but I also believe the _right_ to bear arms is a good thing for a free people. Yes, I think the right to bear arms is worth innocent deaths. The rest of the 2nd Amendment proponents need to own up to this fact of their convictions, and they haven’t. They persist in lies that more guns means safer societies.
    * I believe that the right to bear arms is in place (whether or not that was the intention of the drafters and signers of the Bill of Rights) so that if needed we can defend ourselves against a tyrannical and malevolent government.
    * I believe that even high-powered rifles and other arms individuals or small militias have the wherewithal to own don’t stand a chance against the vast weaponry our governments throughout the world have acquired in both their militaries and police forces. Unless people have access to stealth jets with sophisticated warheads, I think this right to bear arms is irrelevant.
    * I don’t want local militias (which are often peopled by those associated with nationalist organizations) to be piloting fighter jets or manning SAM launchers or maintaining nuclear weapons caches.

    Basically the answer to the gun rights proponent/proponent of freedom is that militaries and law enforcement organizations throughout the world SCALE THE %^&* DOWN. What I absolutely HATE about the gun lobby language right now is that people are insisting that everyone be armed, and that those that are not armed, are basically asking to be gunned down. That’s nonsense. That’s absolute nonsense.

    Gun culture itself needs to be reformed socially, so that it’s not all about testosterone and personal isolationism, and glorification of gratuitous killing. I also think it should be OK to very purposely not own a firearm and keep it at home. For the same reason that I believe the Second Amendment should keep on existing, I like the idea of community weapons caches maintained by local law and secured by trust. This obviously necessitates a stronger sense of community, and THAT, not thinking your life is more valuable than that of anyone else’s based on borders, is what patriotism is all about.

    I may not feel the need to know whether somebody on the other side of the country owns a gun, and I certainly don’t want Federal or State law enforcement/law-breaking spy agencies to know that, but guess what? I absolutely want to know if my neighbor within 10 square miles does, especially if I think that neighbor is batshit crazy, I hear him beating his spouse and/or children, or I know he or she has a substance abuse problem. A great way to have that knowledge is local militias that aren’t thinly-veiled white supremacy meet-ups, that aren’t aligned along strict political boundaries that corporate lobbies have defined though liberal and conservative media outlets and idiots in Congress (States and Federal). At the community level I think people can organize and make that happen.

    The ultra-nationalist bent prevalent among firearms enthusiasts is a problem. It makes it a very white culture phenomenon. It makes militias very white in nature (even if not by skin color). The solutions to firearm problems are probably a lot more complex than all the stupid Facebook memes from the so-called Left- and Right-wing lobbies. In short: smaller militaries, world-wide, stronger communities, the right of individuals to bear or not to bear arms, and a more mature firearm culture. Ideally this would result in happier people, less guns and rifles being trafficked globally, less accidental gun deaths, and some kind of accountability for firearm ownership to your neighbors.

  • Anonymous

    thanks for laying out that sequence of events. and it began how again..? Started with stealing what? Get it?