Now that their candidate has officially lost the national election in a brutal rebuff of her message and her character, gun control groups are left scrambling to repackage their demand for Second Amendment infringements and planning to launch their re-branded assault directly into individual states.
Rolling out their plans on the fourth anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting, several gun control groups are trying to get out ahead of the looming years of sitting politicians who will support and defend the Constitution and Second Amendment rights of their constituents.
Activists say they have generated a big enough support base since the massacre of 20 children and six adults inside the Newtown schoolhouse to bypass Washington and push for state-level measures such as universal background checks and persuade more restaurant chains to stop allowing patrons to carry guns.
“We’re pivoting to the states and to American businesses and saying, ‘OK, when Congress won’t protect constituents, it’s up to state lawmakers and companies to protect their constituents and customers,’” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “It’s a proven, effective strategy and winning strategy. And we’re going to keep at it as long as it takes — to point Congress and the Supreme Court in the direction the nation is headed in.”
Watts also said her group currently has a membership of 3 million people, claiming interest has continued to increase since the election, “with standing-room-only events in West Virginia and the Carolinas” in the weeks since Second Amendment candidate Donald Trump easily beat out Hillary Clinton, something many on the left never considered a possibility.
“We always knew it would be a marathon and not a sprint,” said Po Murray, chair of the Newtown Action Alliance. “But this is a major bump in the road in our marathon.”
Following the realization that they wouldn’t be able to rely on the executive pen of Mrs. Bill Clinton, some groups are bypassing politicians and attempting to appeal directly to individuals.
“We know that gun violence is preventable if you know the signs. And that doesn’t require an act of Congress,” said Mark Barden, co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise. Barden said he is “encouraged more people are being trained to reduce bullying and recognize signs of gun violence.”
As admirable as that sounds, while the Sandy Hook Promise claims to have created a guide to educate people on the ‘warning signs of potential gun violence’, their website fails to share those indicators with visitors, listing instead several questionable stats on gun violence and a claim to advocate “gun safety storage practices and sensible state and federal policy”.
Today, Moms Demand is gearing up to help pass an expansion of background checks on gun purchases in New Mexico and fight the Ohio bill that allows law-abiding citizens to exercise their right to carry in more places including daycare centers, police stations and colleges.
As the gun control movement continues to march forward, taking their focus off national issues and putting their attention on individual state legislation, we need to keep our politicians’ feet to the fire, constantly reminding them of the oath they took to support and defend the Constitution.
The Second Amendment is still part of that great document, whether gun control advocates like it or not.