February 27, 2024

Moms Demand Action lobbies in Nasvhille against campus carry

The Tennessee Chapter of Moms Demand Action lobbied in Nashville on March 1 to stand against campus carry.

Credit: Ichabod

For anyone wishing to carry a concealed handgun on campus, the Moms Demand Action organization is putting up a serious opposition.

The organization’s Tennessee chapter lobbied in Nashville on Wednesday, March 1 to admonish a number of gun related bills, the most prominent of which being Senate Bill 1341, proposed by Sen. Bailey (R-White Co.,) and House Bill 00884, by Rep. Matheny (R-Franklin Co.)

The bills of contention would allow a valid handgun carry permit holder to carry a firearm anywhere at any time in all places in Tennessee unless the permit holder here is under the influence of alcohol. Having a firearm on school grounds and not telling the principal is one of the most important issues for the group.

This means that if properly permitted, anyone can carry a firearm anywhere, like schools and parks, this being the provocation for the group’s frustration.

Moms Demand Action, however, is explicit in saying that they are not an anti-gun group.

According to their website, the group supports the Second Amendment, but believes in common sense solutions. They say these solutions can help decrease the escalating of gun violence that kills many children and loved ones each day. Whether the gun violence happens in places like urban Chicago or rural Texas,  the group believes that action needs to be taken now, and new and stronger gun laws and policies are needed to protect the children.

The group’s 2012 inception is a result of the Sandy Hook shooting, which provoked stay-at-home mom, Shannon Watts, to do something.

In a Dec. 2016 interview with People Magazine, Watts stated, “Like so many other mothers in this country, I was incredulous and devastated that 26 Americans could be slaughtered in the sanctity of an elementary school,” she said. “I was also angry.”

The day after the shooting, Watts started a Facebook group titled “Moms Demand Action.” The grassroots movement soon became a nation wide organization. The group has an established chapter in all 50 states, and has accumulated thousands of members, and gained a majority of its political traction through marches, rallies and, like Wednesday, regular correspondence with their legislators.

With that, the group believes the fruitions of their work have been primarily positive. Their website boasts a page called, “Our Victories,” where viewers can read some 66 accounts of legislative triumph across the nation in respect to their cause.

Tennessee chapter member and mother of two, Kathleen Wright, said that in the group’s second year lobbying in Nashville, they had roughly 80-90 mothers, both gun owners and non-gun owners, coming in from as far east as Johnson City, Tennessee. and as far west as Memphis, Tennessee.

“We want to be all about letting local towns and municipalities determine what their laws need to be,” Wright said. “Obviously, things are different in urban areas as opposed to rural areas.”

The Civil Justice Subcommittee, whose responsibilities include HB 00884, held a meeting during the group’s lobby day. The pending legislation was “rolled,” meaning discussion was postponed until its next committee hearing. Wright sees this as a positive.

“We feel that anytime it’s not brought up in these committees, that’s a good thing for us,” she said. “That means they don’t have the votes…” 

Wright expanded on some of the information they shared with the 132 legislators contacted throughout the day.

“Across the country, you’re seeing 93 people a day killed by gun violence…that can be everything from suicides to homicides to accidents and everything in between,” she said.

Wright also explained the group understands that a law won’t solve every problem or every life, but that there are common sense solutions that are proven to be effective in saving lives.

“For me, anything that we can do to help save lives…I just feel compelled to do that,” Wright said.

The forthcoming deliberation for the House Civil Justice Subcommittee will take place, March 8, 2017.

Since 2008, bills of this nature have been introduced in 18 states across the country. Two bills have been passed into law.

 

For more information, visit the organization’s website and follow the legislation here.  

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Featured Image by Ichabod, obtained through Creative Commons

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