Gun (courtesy thinkprogress.org)

Dear Mrs. Watts,

You don’t know me. While I routinely engage you on social media, I have yet to get a response. In all honesty, that is fine. I do, however, have two suggestions for you. The first is related to your group’s members, and the second is related to your group’s disorganized message . . .

#Gunsense… That’s an interesting word. I’m not really sure what it means. I doubt even you could provide a partisan-free definition. The only definition your website provides is a laundry-list of every failed gun control proposal that was put forward following the Sandy Hook shooting. But it doesn’t really matter what it means, I guess, as long as you get your hordes of motherly minions (read: 10,200 followers) to press the re-tweet button and express their digital outrage (something I’m sure you learned from your time as the Public Outreach Director at Monsanto).

The social scientists say that the utility of social media in political activism can’t be understated. As you well know, these platforms allow activists across the globe to unite and turn digital outrage into tangible results. Some believe that the platforms’ limitations (character limits, single pictures, 6-sec. videos, etc) produce a sort of brevity that can actually hurt constructive political dialogue. While these limitations might be a hindrance to other organizations, you’ve found a way to actually harness them for your own benefit.

You see, when you represent a group that is as riddled with ignorance as Moms Demand Action, 140 character limits and witty little hashtags provide a nice safety net for your fatuous followers. After spending much of the summer visiting your Lemonade Stands and talking to many of these “Moms,” it became plainly obvious that the vast majority of your members know absolutely nothing about firearms.

To the average ‘Mom’ in your group, firearms are something to be feared. Just like cavemen feared fire and the explorers feared the world being flat, your members are dreadfully afraid of firearms. Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly reasons to fear guns. Others might mock hoplophobia as an irrational fear, yet I am sure that there are people in your ranks who probably have first-hand experience to legitimize their fears. Their fear is completely rational and thought out. But to go back to the lightning analogy: just because someone got struck by lightning doesn’t make them a meteorologist, nor does it teach them the science behind fabricating lightning rods.

Over the course of the summer, I attended a few of your group’s Lemonade Stand protests. By attended, I mean I stood out in the heat for a few hours, trying to reeducate the public after the hefty dose of #nonsense that they got after visiting your table. Each time I did this, I was met with your organization moving mountains to try and get me arrested for distributing patriotic literature in public.

It seems that your illogical lemmings have an insatiable hatred of the Second Amendment that is only surpassed by their hatred of the First. Your cronies borrowed one of your social media tactics and tried to “block” anyone who disagreed with them and tried to get them removed. But unlike the rules of an internet message board, you can’t silence your critics in real life.

That’s another one of those pesky ‘constitutional rights’ we’ve been enjoying for the last 266 years.

When your ‘Moms’ were informed by the police that the first amendment afforded us the right to free speech in public, your members took advantage of this newly discovered liberty and reminded gun rights supporters that they “hope [our] children get shot.” Between these ill-wishes and the repeated chants to repeal the second amendment, it was obvious that I wasn’t going to make any friends at one of your protests.

The calls for the death of my unborn children notwithstanding, I still felt compelled to engage your group’s members in dialogue to try and understand their positions. Unfortunately for me, I left many of these conversations feeling dumber than when I entered them.

If you are going to have your ‘Moms’ protesting for universal background checks, you should, at the very least, teach them what exactly a straw-purchase is.

When I described the process in depth to one of the Moms, explaining how these illegal transactions are done behind closed doors, she responded, “that is why we need more background checks.” I then tried to use the manufacturing of methamphetamine as an example, showing her how purchase limits on cold syrup do not stop drug dealers from hiring “Smurfs” to go from store to store and inconspicuously buy the cold medicine anyway. This analogy only served to confuse her more. Your members make so many illogical leaps, it is impossible to have a substantive conversation.

Whether you know it or not, you have some extremely vile members in your ranks. It is very bad for your public image to try to get your opposition arrested for exercising constitutional rights. I know that respect of the constitution isn’t your organization’s forte, but it would be beneficial to, at the very least, teach your group about the First Amendment. We can work on respecting the Second Amendment later…

When your members do learn about their constitutionally protected right to free speech, you should inform them that while they might be permitted to do so, it is counter-productive and callous to wish death and disfigurement on the born and/or unborn children of the opposition.

I would suggest that you ask your members to take a look at the anger they harbor within their own hearts. Contrary to what President Obama might say, disagreeing with you does not mean that we want more children to die. For some reason there is a prevailing notion in both parties that political disagreement somehow legitimizes personal hatred. Within your organization, there is an understanding among your members that anyone who supports gun owners’ rights is a despicable person.

For the sake of our political system, this hatred needs to be stamped out.

My second suggestion for you is to hone your message. As someone who follows your organization on Facebook and Twitter, it is plainly obvious that Moms Demand Action has a serious message problem. While you advocate “Gunsense,” every one of your posts seems to belie your anti-gun agenda. Make no mistake, your ideal America is one without guns.

One of your group’s greatest “successes” is convincing Starbucks to change its stance on gun possession within stores. Really? You are claiming victory  for convincing one of the most liberal companies in America to adopt a liberal point of view? Quite frankly, I was surprised to learn that Starbucks allowed concealed and open carry for so long. While you may be surrounded by ignoramuses (seems misspelled, but it’s right), I know that you know exactly what you’re doing.

I disagree with you on all fronts, but there is no doubt that your organization has seen limited successes. Having your benighted followers regurgitate sciolistic soundbytes was able to convince Starbucks, one of the most liberal-leaning corporations in the country, to ask customers to pretty-please not bring guns into the stores. You can call it a huge victory all you want, but the fact remains that you convinced a liberal company to adopt a liberal policy. Not a huge victory there… ( read Starbucks Still Neutral On Guns )

Putting aside the Starbucks campaign, there is only one general theme for your organization’s message: you hate guns. That’s your prerogative, but I think it is wrong to blame an inanimate object for decades of failed policies and societal decay.

Your most recent media campaign is related to the statistic that 9 women are killed every week by intimate partners. That is certainly an unfortunate statistic, but the only solutions you seem to promote are 1) more background checks and 2) less guns in the home. Granted, stricter background checks might weed out potentially abusive significant-others, but without a history of abuse, these checks will do nothing to stem the tide. Also do not forget that Women are responsible for 40% of all spousal murders. No amount of background checks can stop a wife from murdering her husband.

Your call for less guns in the home is equally ridiculous. You are correct to mention that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Ironically, October is also National Home Security Month. This is important because every week, over 5126 Americans are victimized by violent home invasions. While alarm systems and guard dogs are useful tools in protecting one’s home, there is nothing better than meeting a home invasion with the threat of force. For every woman killed by an intimate partner, there are 570 other victims of violent home invasions. Anyone who suggests that those home invasion victims would be safer without the means to defend themselves is a damn fool.

Your problem is that you are so driven by a fear of guns that you will use any story or statistic to prove your agenda. Every headline represents another opportunity to push for gun control. But you must realize that our world is not worse-off because of guns. Our world is riddled with violence because evil and hatred is an unfortunate part of the human experience. You can ban guns all you want, but you cannot ban the evil that drives deranged individuals to inflict massive amounts of harm on innocent people.

If you are willing to cease your crusade against inanimate objects, I would be more than happy to discuss viable ways to combat the violence epidemic plaguing our society. Decades of democratic policies focusing on dependency over independence, societal decay, a failing War on Drugs, and the destruction of the traditional family structure are all elements that are contributing to violence in our society. But fixing these problems would require original rational thought.

Unfortunately, you have instead chosen to repeat Mayor Bloomberg’s talking point’s and blame an inanimate object for the actions of animate individuals. That’s a shame.

Max McGuire

About Max Mcguire [via ammoland.com]:
Max McGuire is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Political Science at Villanova University. He graduated from Boston College, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Arabic Studies. Follow him on Twitter @SanityPolitics

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84 Responses to Max McGuirre’s Open Letter to Shannon Watts, Founder, Moms Demand Action

  1. The Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15, 1791. Meaning, we’ve been enjoying Amendment I for 221 years, 9 months, and 26 days. I’m not sure where the 266 years reference comes in. I mention this not to be trite, but you are writing an open letter to this woman to rebuke her for her misstatements and ignorance. Otherwise great letter and message.

    • A simple typo from 226 to 266 makes the most sense (especially since he specifically refers to the constitution), but going back 266 years gets us to 1747-48 and a tidbit of history that I don’t think i ever learned about:

      Spanish troops invaded and occupied parts of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, only to be beaten back the local militia when the British couldn’t properly defend the colonies. It was called the “Spanish Alarm.”

    • The Bill of Rights creates neither a right to free speech or a right to keep and bear arms. It merely acknowledges a pre-existing right in both cases, while prohibiting either right from being infringed upon by the federal government (and now, per the 14th Amendment, all other levels of government).

    • Phil you are right, should be 221. 266 is a typo of 226, which as was pointed out, might reference the constitutional ratification, but not necessarily the bill of rights. Mistake on my part.

      • Obviously your point (which was a good one) still stands, I just didn’t want to give her any opportunity to lateral the argument. Highly doubt she’s a constitutional scholar, however, so you probably could have put 466 years in the letter. good work

  2. Max – well said but don’t hold your breath for a response. Still, I think Shannon is attractive and just in need of some good lovin’ to put her talents to better use.

  3. Very well stated but I would suggest that MDA had nothing to do with Starbucks unwelcome policy statement. MDA had been whining to a deaf ear for some time. It was only when miss-directed and arrogant pro-gunners decided to sit out front with their AR-15’s just because they could that Starbucks changed their policy. We drove Starbucks to adopt their new policy and while MDA may claim this success, it was pro-gunners who were our own worst enemy. They did not consider the consequences of their actions and “gave” MDA their so-called success. Just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should or that it will result in the greater good.

    • Are we sure that people open carrying AR’s are really pro-gunners? An effective strategy for gun-grabbers would be to open carry AR’s all over the place. It scares people and moves their agenda. You just need to pretend to be pro-gun and act stupid.

      • I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that at least some of the more way out people you see at pro 2A (and Tea Party, etc.) gatherings are plants. Surely some of the people advocating violence on the net are, too. That’s not to say we don’t have a few extremes of our own. I don’t see how any large group could avoid it completely.

  4. What we really need is a law requiring all criminals, would-be criminals, and those with mental health issues to turn in their weapons, i.e. guns, knives, clubs, etc., within 24 hours of the passing of the law on penalty of death for refusing to do so.

    Do it for the children ! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Logic, critical thinking, progressively breaking down a problem to its root cause… Nice letter…

    Shannon’s predicted response: “TL:DR”

    • “TL:DR”…Typical, thats the response Obama and the rest of the antigun crowd said when presented with the Constitution.

    • Read or not, I doubt Watts is in this to seek truth. She gets her checks from Bloomie if she keeps doing what she’s doing. What is a dose of truth compared to that?

  6. Never knew that wench was a Public Outreach Director for Monsanto.

    I knew she and her group were a scam from the get go, but working for Monsanto and fighting against labeling GMO food solidifies that she is 100% with out a doubt a paid corporate whore who will do anything for money.

  7. Keep up the fight. we need to be focused. Something I’ve not seen in the open carry guys.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like the open carry idea. Just we need to turn back the tide slowly. We want a generational sea change.

    • Agreed; any ‘Moms’ reading this ‘open letter’ would lose interest during the first paragraph. Their minds are too closed and their focus so rigid they are hardly able to entertain any outsider communication, particularly of the character of your open letter.

      It is simply incomprehensible to them that anyone would be so arrogant as to disagree with their ‘feelings’ on gun confiscation. That is why their lack of logic and the ignorance of their position are of no consequence to them; how they feel about guns is all that matters.

      No amount of logic and “common sense”, which is obviously not a common attribute of the antis particularly among the ‘Moms’, matters one twit to them.

  8. To me it seems this letter actually lends the Mom’s more credibility as an influential force then they had before it.

  9. Max’s article and the MDA make me think of many Jefferson quotes. But here are two I find especially appropriate.

    “Difference of opinion leads to enquiry, and enquiry to truth; and that, I am sure, is the ultimate and sincere object of us both. We both value too much the freedom of opinion sanctioned by our Constitution, not to cherish its exercise even where in opposition to ourselves.” –Thomas Jefferson to P. H. Wendover, 1815. ME 14:283

    The problem is that Max believes the previous statement and the Moms do not. Therefore I would follow this advice:

    “In the fevered state of our country, no good can ever result from any attempt to set… fiery zealots to rights either in fact or principle. They are determined as to the facts they will believe, and the opinions on which they will act. Get by them, therefore, as you would by an angry bull; it is not for a man of sense to dispute the road with such an animal.” –Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Jefferson Randolph, 1808. ME 12:199

    MDA should be challenged, but head on with civil discourse will not accomplish anything.

  10. I too expect the response to be TL;DR, but mainly because the author started to insult the other side in the second paragraph. There was a lot of well written, logical statements in that letter but even I was tempted to stop reading after the “motherly minions” comment and I agree with 90% of what he was saying. The pervasive use of Ad Hominem seriously detracts from the message and greatly decreases the chances that it will be read.

  11. It is a futile exercise of EGO to attempt to engage any Progressive in any type of dialog (please read Rules For Radicals). any attempt at “dialog” is a violation of all rules of warfare, it is pointless and will result in the one sided communication being turned against the petitioners position.
    There is NO desire on the Left for communication only sociopathic dictation, gun control is all about Control, do not feed the beast.

  12. I will start with this saying” Few are writers Anyone can be an editor”.
    I will also say that I agree with pretty much everything said here
    But…
    I don’t think this is an open letter to Shannon Watts. This is a sermon to the choir and will not be heard by members of MOM’s nor policy and law makers.
    This will sound very much like the argument happening here on TTAG about open carry.
    In public, a holstered pistol while wearing khaki’s and a Polo demonstrates your RKBA, a slung AR while wearing Camo, helps get anti-gun laws past.
    This open letter is more akin to the AR open carry approach.
    Do you want to argue your points in turn or just leave a bad impression in the reader where they think by your insults that you don’t listen to reason either.
    If your target is non-gunners and women in particular then consider these kind of changes that change the tone.
    First-Mr McGuirre
    Second-Suggestion

    disorganized message
    Sometimes confusing message

    hordes of motherly minions
    many faithful but misguided members

    something I’m sure you learned at…
    Something you made use of at…

    provide a nice safety net for your fatuous followers
    insulate your followers from legitimate arguments

    as riddled with ignorance
    not being educated about fire arm use

    illogical lemmings have an insatiable hatred of the Second Amendment
    have not thought through the importance of the Second Amendment

    Your cronies
    The people that currently feel as you do

    Your members make so many illogical leaps, it is impossible to have a substantive conversation
    Your members often make inconsistent arguments

    I know that respect of the constitution isn’t your organization’s forte
    I know you have difficulty with the 2A

    Lose the insults or give the target reason to ignore you.
    ”Your call for less guns in the home is equally ridiculous”
    “Your problem is…”
    “But fixing these problems would require original rational thought”

    “My second suggestion for you is to hone your message”
    This applies to you as well Mr. McGuirrel

    Vinegar v Honey

    • Honey v battery acid

      And where do these jackals and ghouls moms post their bile? That’s where this should be posted. Only one person on the other side (MAIG, you still there?) has ever admitted to even knowing about this site.

    • “Vinegar v Honey”

      Manure works better than either of those. Rules for Radicals rule #5 – Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.

    • I tried the honey approach when I tried to engage them in a calm policy discussion. They lost their right to Honey when they tried to get me arrested not once, not twice, but three times.

      Some of your suggestions are nice, but others are way too wordy or politically correct. “many faithful but misguided members”?? Spend any amount of time with the ground troops at MDA and “riddled with ignorance” will seem like a kind description.

  13. Unfortunately, you have instead chosen to repeat Mayor Bloomberg’s talking points…

    There, I fixed it for you. One must be literate when speaking to the deluded.

  14. Moms Demand Action – Def: Greedy oportunistic uninformed zealot sheeple being pimped by MAIG, Bloomberg, Feinstein, Watts, and other assorted anti gun, anti Second Amendment fanatics. Their primary focus is on creating the feeling amongst other sheeple that gun control is somehow (not specifically enumerated) a benefit to their utopian well being.

  15. Excellent post, Max, but you need to remember the first principle of trying to reason with people like the Bloomberg Mommies:

    You can’t cure stupid.

  16. Great letter.

    (In my best Eric Cartman voice)
    Mom’s demand (back door) Action should get back in the kitchen and bake me some pie!!!

  17. Great letter and very well written except for the “point’s” at the end. That apostrophe should not be there.

    • Point’s was a foolish mistake. Most likely due to the fact that this letter developed after a night of drinking…

  18. “…140 character limits and witty little hashtags provide a nice safety net for your fatuous followers.”

    The whole thing was great, but I believe this was my favorite sentence, by far.

  19. Great read, but I agree with the posters that say they likely won’t read it, or if they do simply ignore it.

    Here’s an idea however: re-purpose their #Gunsense tag as our own. Use it to link stories involving defensive gun uses.

  20. Beautiful article.

    By the way, I managed to convince a customer (who stated that guns terrify her) that it doesn’t take an “expert marksman” to hit a bad guy at fifteen feet, that doing so is much more certain than hitting a wastebasket with a wadded up MDA pamphlet at the same distance, and that as a single woman in a questionable neighborhood it would behoove her to get a gun, get trained and get her CCW.

    This she is now doing, having believed me about police response times and that her (quite comprehensive) alarm system has a primary function of yelling “Grab your gat!”

    ‘Nother one comes on board. Yay!

  21. Okay this is extremely nitpicky…no explorers thought the world was flat. The world was known to be spherical since ancient Egypt. The whole world being flat thing…I have no idea who made up that nonsense. Wikipedia suggests anti-clericals in France, 19th century- Antoine-Jean Letronne in particular. Makes sense, Frenchies also made up the idea of feudalism which never actually existed in the middle ages.

    No, Columbus’ audacity was actually that he was wrong. Everyone knew the world was spherical. They even knew its circumference (and this is given by ancient Greeks even). But Columbus challenged that, claiming a smaller world! He was wrong and got lucky with America.

    Anyhow just a rant from a student of medieval history and thought who has a few pet peeves. I doubt the likes of Ms. Watts would catch that error.

    • I seriously thought about quibbling in this vein, but decided to let it lie.

      By the way,I believe that the flat Earth bit first came up in a play in the mid 1800s; it made better drama than the truth.

      It’s a pet peeve of mine as well. “Good little peeve; here’s a treat. “

      • EDIT: Equating imply and infer, less and fewer et cetera; flaunt v flout; then v than; too v to v two… it’s a pain attempting to communicate using what is essentially a dead language.

        Two many too list.

    • Not gonna lie, my knowledge of the explorers is pretty much limited to what I learned in grade school. Never really came up later in my studies.

  22. Nice.

    But I’d bet you put more time and thought into crafting this response than she has in her whole organization.

    That’s not a knock on your letter or sending it to her at all. Kudos for taking the time to organize arguments and put thoughts together on this issue!

    -D

  23. Hmmm… My mom (who lives in central Калифорния) demanded action after Sandy Hook. She demanded that teachers get trained, get guns and get on the ball.

    Guess how that worked out.

  24. Great read, but I’ve never understood trying to convince anyone of something they have their mind set against.

    We should really focus our efforts on people that are “sitting on the fence”. Like your friends and family and let them do the same.

    you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, but you CAN’T teach a dog to be a cat =P

  25. MILF’s Demand Action. Don’t they all? Which begs the uncomfortable question.
    Who is Mr. Watts? Who are any of these Mr. MDA’s? Neutered metrosexuals? More equally worthless, nutless bureaucrats like the one’s we’ve sent to Washington to represent us? I wonder?

  26. I love how on that big, evil gun graphic, the three largest segments are the P90, the grenade, and the M1 Carbine. The former two are illegal for civilian purchase, and the latter is a WW2 relic that has likely never killed anyone in the US.

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