Town hall meetings are Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’s bread and butter. The Demanding Moms love to show up when senseless violence shakes Suzy Soccer Mom out of her suburban comfort zone. Just like sleazy, ambulance-chasing lawyers . . .
In case you didn’t know, the gun grabbing divas claim “easy access” to guns, not violent criminals, lead to the unseemly violence. If we only had more gun control!
Like so many “town hall” meetings on “gun violence,” the Champaign, Illinois meeting was triggered by a firearms-related incident. Gang violence struck in a supposedly safe area. In this particular case, shots fired after a high school basketball game left three people wounded.
Needless to say, sponsors of the event felt they needed to hear from gun control groups – because gun control did so well stopping the initial near-tragedy in the first place. [/sarc]
While organizers promoted the event as a town hall format, the panel of nine members only answered a few pre-selected questions and one or two others from the audience. And that meant after the Illinois leader of Moms Demand Action repeatedly citing false claims bordering on defamatory, her falsehoods stood unchallenged and un-rebutted.
The local newspaper, the Champaign News-Gazette offered up these mainstream media take on the meeting:
CHAMPAIGN — Six weeks after shots were fired as a of the basketball game was letting out at Central High School, nine panelists assembled at a town hall meeting agreed: Gun violence is a symptom of broader issues.
Sherri Williamson, president of Unit 4’s PTA council, said she felt compelled to organize Wednesday night’s event after watching how people reacted to the incident on social media.
“The problem is that we disengage and blame local leaders,” Williamson said. “We want to educate the public on how you can get involved and how you can support the leaders up here.”
While PTA head Sherri Williamson billed it as a town hall, but attendees by and large didn’t even get their questions answered, much less an opportunity to address the speakers.
Ahead of the meeting, audience members approached members of the panel. Some interactions went better than others. This Moms Demand Action woman had a very interesting welcome to Champaign County Chief Deputy Allen Jones.
But alas, she only flashed her t-shirt. Thank heavens.
Soon after, the meeting came to order following some sound system issues.
Not only did the meeting not start off with the Pledge of Allegiance, but there was no flag. Instead, some high school dancers shared a short performance to Black Eyed Peas “Let’s Get It Started“.
After Sherri Williamson asked the first question, the entire panel just sat there. Nobody answered. It looked and felt awkward, but nobody wanted to tackle “why” this was happening.
One or two probably wanted to, but they probably didn’t want to melt the large number of snowflakes in the audience.
The purple-haired woman on the left is Sherri Williamson, the president of the local PTA. The whole time during the event as she spoke – and she spoke a lot – I kept thinking of the old song, Harper Valley PTA.
While Ms. Sherri invited not one, but two gun control activists, the invitation to the gun rights community must have gotten lost in the mail.
From left, Nicole Anderson-Cobb and Lauren Quinn came to promote gun control.
A few years ago, Anderson-Cobb worked for the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence as their “outreach coordinator”. Either she sucked at outreaching or ICHV ran out of money to keep her on the payroll. Either way, her tenure with ICHV did not last long.
One of Anderson-Cobb’s claims to fame was trying to bring grassroots anti-gun activism to Champaign, IL. Amazingly, they tried to launch a monthly grassroots meeting in Guns Save Life’s backyard. It didn’t go well for them.
Note the Guns Save Life member sitting directly next to the woman speaking.
Included in the audience were Anderson-Cobb and Mary Kay Mace (second from right), the mom of one of the Northern Illinois University students killed when a lunatic opened fire in an auditorium full of unarmed targets.
We made sure their first couple of meetings were well-attended, including the first one where library security and staff tried to throw me out of the library for taking photos from outside of the room.
ICHV chose to hold their meetings in a room at the local public library that only seated about 20. My lovely bride noted how they had some pretty low expectations if they thought twenty seats would serve their needs.
The other gun control advocate present in Champaign: Lauren Quinn.
Ms. Quinn has risen in the ranks of Moms Demand Action to become the Illinois Director. Quinn made a number of rather dubious claims from her seat on the panel. She stated that Moms Demand Action has four million members. (Hint: MDAFGSIA count Facebook likes as members.)
More significantly, she flat out lied when she claimed that domestic abusers and criminals could drive across state lines to buy all the guns they wanted. Or that anyone could buy guns at gun shows, no questions asked. Ditto for online purchases.
If gun control was truly a noble cause, why do its proponents feel the need to lie?
Ms. Quinn also claimed that a few dealers in Chicagoland — the “bad apples” as she described them — sell loads and loads of guns to straw purchasers.
Yes, Ms. Quinn was big on claims and short on evidence. Unfortunately, the Suzy Soccermoms in the audience didn’t know any better. And, of course, the audience didn’t have any opportunity to set the record straight. Perhaps that served as a feature, not a bug.
A couple of points became obvious as the night wore on. And on.
This high school social justice teacher wearing her Moms Demand Action t-shirt sort of dozed off. We didn’t have social justice teachers when I went to high school.
Sherri Williamson and several of the panelists loved to say “gun violence” as part of the usual platitudes.
They talked about so-called gun violence like it was a contagious disease. Not one of the panelists said “gang violence.” In fact, it almost seemed as though panelists avoided using the word ‘gang’ altogether.
The second glaring point I noticed: not one of the panelists wanted to send young men to prison. IN fact, local State’s Attorney Julia Reitz bragged how “diversion from prison is to be celebrated.”
Alternatives to incarceration should be available for non-violent offenders, like a kid who takes a gun to school to protect himself from gang members. However, for those who pull the trigger, well, that’s the subject of another post . . .
Bottom line: it was a grand day out. To quote Shakespeare said, the assembled group were “told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Still, as a display of the ongoing delusions that enable the killers amongst us, it hit the spot.