Fireworks and barbecues do not lead the activities of Moms Demand Action this week. “Having gun sense is patriotic,” declare organizers from the 100,000-member group founded last December after the Newtown shootings. Its membership will march in more than than a dozen cities on Thursday, including Houston, Chicago and the nation’s capital.
“Celebrate your love for your country and your children this July 4th! As mothers, we’re coming together to Declare Independence from Gun Violence - and from the gun lobby that contributes to our national epidemic,” the group says in its outreach.
Code Pink and another group - MomsRising - have already staged multiple protests this year against the National Rifle Association.
The activist mothers at Demand Action, meanwhile, will also contact legislators this week.
“The most important thing we can do is incredibly easy - just call your representative. The other side is calling five times as often even though there are more of us! Members of Congress think we don’t care. Of course that’s not true, so please take three minutes while you sip your morning coffee or Diet Coke and call their offices,” urges the outreach.
The NRA itself maintains a vigorous outreach to women, including recognition of female gun owners who are “armed and fabulous”, “range ready” or those who “refuse to be a victim.” The organization will host a women’s leadership forum in October to parse out Second Amendment rights and other issues. Find their information here.
Women are also buying more guns or seeking officially sanctioned gun safety courses or recreational activities. The National Shooting Sports Foundation reports firearms sales to women have grown nearly 73 percent in recent years.
“It’s not just hunters and outdoorsmen aiming to buy and shoot guns, it’s women, too,” reported CBS News affiliate WRBG, in Albany, N.Y. earlier this year. Locally, gun shop owners say 30 percent of their clients are now women.
There is a different perspective at Moms Demand Action, however.
“As Americans and as mothers, we have a responsibility to tell our communities that having gun sense is patriotic,” says program director Jennifer Hoppe.
“The level of gun violence in this country is unacceptable, as is the gun lobby’s sway over the legislative process. It is time for our Congress, state legislatures and American businesses to help protect our children and prevent the deaths of the nearly eight children who are shot and killed every day in our country.”
See the group’s story here