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article imageOp-Ed: American Mothers vs the American Gun Lobby

By Michael Terron     Nov 21, 2014 in Politics
For many years, the NRA has raised the specter of 'liberal' government suppression of civil liberties. Since the advent of Obama's administration, this tactic, with the help of a $250 million budget, has been a very effective one..
However, in 2013, an NRA ally created a temporary rift in the gun rights movement. In Houston, members of Open Carry Texas started flaunting semi-automatic rifles in public. Moms Demand Action mobilized its 7,000 members in Texas in response to the flagrant display of arms.
Subsequently, the leader of the Texas gun rights group was warned by an NRA board member that their actions were jeopardizing its "longtime control of a massive number of votes," in the Texas legislature. Open Carry responded by accusing the NRA of "collaborating with the ultra-liberal gun control bullies."
The confrontation then reached bizarre and vicious dimensions. Some members of Open Carry resorted to blatant intimidation of Moms by publicly shooting a naked mannequin and posting a woman's personal information on social media, causing her to suffer extreme on-line harassment.
"The NRA's lobbying wing made an extraordinary move, denouncing the Texas activists' demonstrations as "foolish and downright weird." But when the enraged activists cut up their membership cards, the NRA beat a fast retreat and apologized."
"I was shot three times while shielding my then 17-year old daughter from bullets shot outside a grocery store. I later learned that the shooter had been shopping at the grocery store for about fifteen minutes before attacking. He walked pass the magazines, pass produce, out of those automatic doors and began firing bullets into a crowd."
Mary Reed, a survivor of the 2011 mass shooting in Tucson and volunteer with Moms Demand Action.
It may come as a surprise to most people in the U.S. that it is legal in most states to carry a loaded gun in public. Potential gun owners are not required to have a background check, a permit nor firearm training. A few states have even waived age requirements.
Kelly Burke, a rural Texan whose family has been gun owners since the 1800s, cites the speech given by NRA leader, Wayne La Pierre, after Sandy Hook, - "we are the good guys with guns," as her reason for joining Moms Demand Action. In her view, La Pierre's opposition to sensible gun regulation "personified the sickness and callousness" pervading the U.S. She is dismayed by what she calls a denial that lax gun laws "are an actual problem" and some gun owners believe "they can do whatever they want and basically screw everyone else."
Lucia McBath, a Floridian, has her own reasons for uniting with Moms. In 2012 her son was shot and killed by a man after a verbal confrontation about the loud music emanating from her son's vehicle. In an interview outside of a well-attended press conference a few blocks away from an NRA annual convention, she said, "A lot of mothers are suffering in this country over the nature of violence. . . I feel I have a whole nation praying for our family."
Americans for Responsible Solutions, begun by mass-shooting survivor, Gabrielle Gifford and her husband, shares the same goals as Moms, supporting U.S. Senate and House members who back stronger gun legislation. However, unlike Moms, Gifford's group refuses to criticize Democrats who have not voted for more background checks.
"This is about building a foundation," Shannon Watts says, " and it can't be built on whether you have Democrats or Republicans in office. Many Democrats have shown that they are just as much in the pocket of the NRA as their Republican counterparts. This has to transcend political labels.
Mark Follman, Mother Jones magazine, Pg. 23
"Moms Demand Action has established a chapter in every state of the country and is part of Everytown for Gun Safety along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than 2 million supporters including moms, mayors, survivors, and everyday Americans who are fighting for reforms that respect the Second Amendment and protect people."
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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