As domestic violence victim Kate Ranta writes at HuffPo, “The gun violence prevention movement was thrown into utter turmoil this week after survivors and advocates learned that Everytown for Gun Safety has sponsored the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) conference for two out of the past three years (2015 and 2017).” Why would supporting an organization of police officers throw Everytown’s hoplophobic harridans in to a tizzy? Because the FOP makes common cause with…wait for it…the NRA.
Everytown volunteers like me are now leaving the organization in droves, disgusted that our leadership would partner with an organization that has been a steadfast ally of the National Rifle Association and defender of racially-motivated police brutality.
And you know what else is causing rubes like Ranta to finally open their eyes and become disillusioned with Mayor Mike’s anti-gun hobby? It turns out that it’s not really the bottom-up grassroots effort Mom Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’s Shannon Watts claims it is.
Over the years, however, I began to see signs that suggested I was not as empowered as I thought. For example, I was once coached to avoid authenticity in telling my personal story in order to “stay on message.” I also saw that survivors who were in the national media got preferential treatment over survivors who were unknown to the public.
Ranta apparently finally tired of being patted on the head while being told to shut up and march. Narrative über alles. But it was the FOP/NRA connection that finally melted her AstroTurf.
Nothing prepared me, however, for the Facebook post I saw this past weekend detailing Everytown’s financial support of the FOP. A friend of mine was looking at FOP’s website when she noticed that Everytown was listed as a sponsor of their upcoming national conference in Nashville — right alongside the NRA, First Tactical, and Beretta — the company that made the handgun my estranged husband shot me with.
So they complained to Everytown central command.
When advocates and survivors learned about Everytown’s support of the FOP conference, many of us reached out immediately to their leadership and asked them to rescind their decision to sponsor a table at the event. At that point we were told that we were using “inflammatory language” and should wait for Everytown to issue a statement on the matter.
Surprise! Everytown backed down, pulling out of the FOP conference, ostensibly because “officer Betty Shelby, who shot and killed an unarmed black man” would be participating in a panel discussion. And how did her fellow anti-gunners repay Ranta for her her rant?
On Thursday, I resigned as an Everytown Survivor Fellow after being blocked by the Survivor Network Facebook page for voicing my concerns about the sponsorship. My conclusion is that dissenting voices have no place in these organizations. You toe the line or you’re out.
Moral of the story: don’t think for a minute that Moms Demand Action or their corporate parent, Everytown for Gun Safety are anything but bureaucratic top-down civilian disarmament advocacy operations.
Any actual “moms” or victims like Ranta are only tolerated as long as they dress in red t-shirts and show up for the cameras to make attractive news hit backgrounds when it’s convenient. Other than that, Mike and Shannon would rather they just STFU and go away.