TTAG reader TT provided our headline. It’s his take on Mother Jones’ celebratory article These Women Are the NRA’s Worst Nightmare. There’s a lot of amusement to be had therein, but check out the artfully crafted (to make a small group look large) photo above. It’s a pic of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’s march across the Brooklyn Bridge. Ever heard the expression “selling the Brooklyn Bridge“? It’s common parlance for scamming the public. So right away we know Mother Jones doesn’t “do” irony. Hagiography? That they do . . .
Today, Moms Demand Action has teams on the ground in all 50 states, elbowing their way into policy hearings and working to motivate “gun sense voters” fed up with the carnage. In less than two years, the organization has compelled more than a half-dozen national restaurant chains, internet companies, and retailers to take a stand against lax gun laws, and has joined forces with one of the nation’s most deep-pocketed political operators to hold elected leaders to account.
Many groups have taken on the nation’s 30,000 annual firearm deaths—and this latest effort bears resemblance to the Million Mom March in the wake of the 1999 Columbine shooting, whose organizers also sought to be “a MADD for guns.” But no group has risen so far, so fast, influencing laws, rattling major corporations, and provoking vicious responses from hardcore gun rights activists. With its ambition to turn out a million voters for the November midterms, Moms Demand Action may be emerging as a potent threat to the National Rifle Association’s three-decade-long stranglehold on gun politics.
Define “teams.” If we’re talking about a single Facebook follower, I can just about verify their 50-state claim. If not, know this: Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (MDA) has never assembled anything remotely resembling a “proper” turnout for an anti-gun event. Where pro-gun rights groups can assemble a thousand supporters at a rally, MDA struggles to hit a hundred. Often, they manage less than a couple of dozen – even when they’re paid.
Truth be told, MDA’s existence – such as it is – depends entirely on what British PM Margaret Thatcher called “the oxygen of publicity.” Mother Jones, The Huffington Post and MSNBC have done more to keep MDA alive than Mayor Bloomberg (who bought the group earlier this year). Without favorable press coverage, MDA would have been, would be, DOA.
Yes I know: TTAG has given MDA plenty of O2. But this is where they live – on the Internet. And this is where their misdirection, mischaracterization and malicious lies must be countered. Not just their misegos, of course. Also that of their mainstream media pimps, who give Moms a free ride on everything, such as . . .
When CEO Howard Schultz announced in mid-September that firearms were no longer welcome on Starbucks’ premises, he declined to discuss the steady pressure applied by Moms, whose 54 Facebook posts over three and a half months had reached more than 5.5 million people and spawned a 40,000-signature petition.
Facebook recently redefined ‘reach’ as a viewer clicking on a post (rather than just watching it slide by on their news feed). The move reduced TTAG’s “reach” by 90 percent. Even if Moms’ Facebook posts reached 550k, that’s still a lot, right? Uh, I’m from Missouri. MDA’s been playing fast and loose with their support stats since day one. Anyone who takes their claims at face value needs to look into that Brooklyn Bridge purchase program.
Equally, the MDA campaign to get Starbucks (and Target, Chili’s, Chipotle and Panera) was a failure. Starbucks simply asked gun owners not to bring their guns to their stores. That’s it. No ban on legal concealed carry. No ban on legal open carry. To call the request a “success” would be calling the The Battle of the Little Bighorn a military victory (for General Custer). It’s almost as absurd as MDA’s claim that they’re not anti-gun, an idea that Mother Jones parrots with its usual analytical aplomb.
Key to Moms’ message is that being a socially responsible gun owner has nothing to do with being anti-gun. In fact, some of the leadership is deeply experienced with firearms. As an ER nurse in Seattle, Moms regional leader Kelly Bernado has cared for patients physically shattered by gun violence—but as a police officer in the 1990s, she often rolled up on armed suspects and faced split-second decisions with her weapon drawn. “I find the people who carry weapons and think they can be some sort of hero in these situations absolutely ridiculous,” she told me. (Though she came “very, very close” in one domestic-violence situation, Bernado never fired on anyone during her career.)
How does that work? How can you be for “socially responsible gun owners” at the same time that you’re for forcing people to disarm (e.g., inside Kroger’s)? Socially responsible gun owners don’t have the right to bear arms in public? What’s more socially responsible than using a firearm to defend innocent life against criminal attack? Oh right, Shannon’s home is “protected by dogs and an alarm system.”
Who protects us from MDA? We do. By exposing their hypocrisy, by funding pro-gun groups like the NRA (who benefit financially by having an MDA bogeyman) and by voting for pro-gun politicians. Mother Jones is right about one thing: MDA’s our most public, most prolific enemy. If that keeps us focused on the battle to defend and extend our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. Right? [h/t T]