I recently had the opportunity to attend a house party to meet and get to know the women (and men!) leading the Maryland chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Like so many others, I was devastated by Newtown. I was outraged by Trayvon Martin. But if I’m honest with myself, I was content to simply be, as my friend Jennifer says, a clicktivist on common sense gun reform. I shared my outrage and devastation about those events and so many others that happen every day across our country via Facebook links, likes and comments. I cheered when the Maryland General Assembly passed the Maryland Firearm Safety Act of 2013, but I didn’t really do anything more. Because I knew it was an incredibly steep uphill fight. And I knew it would be a really long fight. And because I had been involved in things like this before.
But when Jennifer invited me to a house party to learn more about Moms Demand Action’s Maryland chapter — and offered to drive us from Prince George’s County to Montgomery County on a weeknight — I couldn’t say no.
And what I learned is that there are a lot of moms and dads and folks who aren’t parents who care deeply enough about this issue to invest a great deal of time and effort in it. Even though it is an incredibly steep uphill fight. And even though it might be a really long fight. And even though they’ve never done anything like this before.
And that is pretty inspiring.
Since its founding as a simple Facebook page the day after Newtown, Moms Demand Action has become a national grassroots nonpartisan movement with more than 100,000 members and chapters in every state across the country. As the website says, “We may be accidental activists, but we are the wave of change in America.” And their goals really are, in my opinion, common sense solutions:
- Require background checks for all gun and ammunition purchases;
- Ban assault weapons and ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds;
- Track the sale of large quantities of ammunition, and ban online sales;
- Establish product safety oversight of guns and ammunition, and require child-safe gun technology;
- Support policies at companies and public institutions that promote gun safety;
- Counter the gun industry’s efforts to weaken gun laws at the state level.
And so after the meeting, I joined. And even though the hill is steep and the fight might be long, I’m going to be more than a clicktivist. Because more than 15,000 children or teens killed or injured by gun violence since Newton is more than 15,000 too many.
Do you want to do more, too?
Visit Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense. Like the Moms Demand Action – MD Facebook page, the Moms Demand Action – DC Facebook page or the Moms Demand Action – VA Facebook page. Make a donation to support this important work. And then talk to your friends and encourage them to do the same.
Because it’s time for gun sense in America.