The women of the DC Project recently had their fifth Capitol Hill fly-in, with dozens of members holding meetings with more than 100 congressional offices. I’m very pleased to welcome DC Project founder Dianna Muller to today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co to talk about what she and others learned during their recent visit, as well as the vitally important messages members delivered to elected officials on both sides of the gun control debate.
Hopefully you’ve heard of the DC Project before now, but if not here’s a little background. The group was founded just a few years ago by Muller, who’s both a veteran law enforcement officer and competitive shooter. The original idea behind the organization was to bring pro-Second Amendment women together to travel to Washington, D.C. and meet with lawmakers to provide a counter to gun control groups like Moms Demand Action. With the motto of “education, not legislation“, Muller and several dozen 2A activists not only push back against the anti-gun narrative of the gun control lobby, but advocate for non-governmental programs that have been proven effective at reducing suicide and increasing public safety without infringing on the individual rights of American citizens.
The recent trip to D.C. took place earlier this month and just a few weeks after House Democrats were able to ram through a bill to ban so-called assault weapons with the help of two Republicans. We also saw the passage and signing of the Safer Communities Act in the wake of the shootings at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, and Muller says that many staffers she and other DC Project members spoke to brought up the immense pressure to “do something” that was brought to bear on elected officials. Muller understands that impulse, noting that she and other DC Project members are in agreement that steps should be taken to protect kids in school and the public at large. Where the DC Project differs from Moms Demand Action is on what exactly should be done. While Moms Demand Action and other anti-gun groups target legal gun owners and the right to keep and bear arms, the DC Project takes a different approach; advocating for increased funding for programs like Hold My Guns, which connects gun owners with gun shops and FFLs who have voluntary, private off-site storage options for those who might be experiencing a mental health crisis or have a family member who’s suffering.
Those non-coercive programs don’t try to criminalize our Second Amendment rights in the name of public safety, which makes them non-starters for the most vociferous anti-gunners in Congress, but Muller says she and other DC Project delegates were willing to meet with politicians on both sides of the aisle, and even found some Democratic offices who were willing to meet with them as well. The sitdowns may not have persuaded gun control supporters on Capitol Hill to give up on their quest to ban their way to safety, but at the very least they were a firsthand rebuttal to the anti-gun argument that if you don’t support new gun control legislation you must care more about your firearms than kids.
Many of the DC Project members are moms themselves, and several of them even used to hold pro-gun control views. They know firsthand the seductive power of the anti-gun argument that with just a few “reasonable” and “commonsense” restrictions on gun owners we can make our schools and cities safe places, but they also know that it’s ultimately an empty promise not backed up by reality.
California had the most active shooter incidents of any state in the nation last year, according to the FBI, despite (or maybe because of) the fact that it has the most restrictive gun laws in the Union. Since Colorado lawmakers imposed universal background checks and bans on “large capacity” magazines in 2013, violent crime has steadily increased, even as the Democrats in control of state government have approved more restrictions on the right to bear arms; adopting “red flag” laws and removing the state’s firearm preemption law that prevented localities from putting their own gun control ordinances in place. Gun control may sound like a good idea to many non-gun owners but it’s not the answer to stopping violent criminals and cowardly killers, and I’m glad that the Second Amendment superstars with the DC Project were able to deliver that message to those lawmakers willing to listen.
Muller says the group is always looking to add to their membership, and if you’d like more information on how to be a part of this grassroots effort you can find out more at DCProject.info. Besides their work in Washington, D.C. the group has chapters in almost every state, so there’s definitely a need for activists and volunteers willing to stand up and speak out for real gun safety no matter where you live.