The (Considerably Less Than) Million Moms are Going to Try Again

According to this press release:

On Mother’s Day Weekend, Million Mom March Will Gather in DC, Urge Congress to ‘Halt the Assault’ on Child Safety

Oh, right. Fighting idiotic gun laws is an “assault on child safety.” You want to protect children? Teach them how to swim. Keep them away from household chemicals. PUT THEM IN CAR SEATS AND MAKE THEM WEAR SEAT BELTS. Finally, STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM FELONS.

With children at risk in their schools, their playgrounds and their communities, America’s mothers and others will gather this Mother’s Day weekend, May 8-10, in the shadow of the Capitol in Washington D.C., to demand gun violence solutions, Million Mom March members announced today.

“Demand gun violence solutions” = “Demand sweeping gun bans.” Not a solution, but that’s what they want.

Concerned citizens, community leaders, gun violence victims, and a coalition of state-based gun safety groups gathered with Million Mom March members in New York today to announce plans for the Mother’s Day 2004 Halt the Assault Weekend, May 8-10. The announcement was made outside Martin Luther King Jr. High School, where two students were shot on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in 2002.

What?!? At a gun-free zone?!?

“There are war casualties all around us. We need to stand up and say we’ve had enough,” said Shikha Hamilton, official spokesperson for the Mother’s Day March to Halt the Assault. “America’s mothers have had enough. We are calling a timeout in the war against the next generation — our children.”

Ms. Hamilton, then I suggest you direct your attention towards the problem of drug trafficking, because that’s what’s driving the violence that’s killing your children.

The Million Mom March, a chapter-based, grassroots organization with thousands of members and many more thousands of supporters (Even they no longer claim anywhere near a million.) throughout the nation, announced the support of Essence Communications Partners and ESSENCE magazine, which have agreed to underwrite some of the event’s costs and to reach out aggressively to attract supporters over the next three months.

Really? “Aggressively”? Does that mean junk-mail and dinnertime phone calls? TV propaganda ads? What?

The main element in the Halt the Assault weekend plans announced today is a public gathering at the West Front of the Capitol starting in the late morning of Mother’s Day, May 9. Following an interfaith service at the start of the program, a number of speakers and entertainers will fill the afternoon. Informational booths and other visual elements will be scattered throughout the area.

And hopefully the 2nd Amendment Sisters will be there too. Maybe this time they won’t be harassed and threatened, and their literature won’t be stolen and thrown away by the nice Mommies.

The weekend will be preceded by events throughout America urging rational steps to reduce gun violence through legislation, public education, lobbying (REDUNDANCY ALERT!) and other activities. Locally based chapters of the Million Mom March will hold press conferences and other events in their cities to call attention to the need for action to protect America’s children.

Further details of the weekend, as they develop, will be posted on the official Mother’s Day March to Halt the Assault Web site,

On Mother’s Day 2000, with memories of the horrible events at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado fresh in the public’s mind, hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the Mall in Washington D.C. to demand saner gun policies in our country.

Best estimates I have seen give the attendance at something over 100,000. Max. But who are we to dis a good soundbite?

“Since our last march, 120,000 Americans — almost 14,000 of them children — have died from gun violence.

Numbers that have declined steadily, year by year, until just recently. But because they can’t point to a gun control law (or six) as a cause of this decline, it’s not “progress.” Never mind that the CDC’s study couldn’t find any correlation between gun control laws and changes in gun crime statistics.

We are deeply disappointed that Congress hasn’t made progress — and instead is trying to turn back the clock on the progress we’ve made,” said Mary Leigh Blek, president emeritus of the Million Mom March. “We are resolute, and we won’t rest until our children are safer.”

As I’ve said, they equate “progress” to “more gun laws.” Nothing else. And “safer”? “Safer” than what standard? Don’t want your kids dead of gun violence? Move out of the city. That will be your best single thing to do.

The gathering comes at a time of great challenge to responsible gun policies.

“Responsible gun policies” = “more and more restrictions on the right to arms.”

Unless Congress acts to renew and strengthen it, the nation’s landmark assault weapons ban will expire on September 13 of this year, and AK47s and Uzis will be legal (still are) and easier for criminals to acquire. (They can get them regardless.) Weeks ago, the gun lobby’s friends in Congress passed a dreadful law that requires rapid destruction of Brady background check records. (And this was “dreadful” why?) In the coming weeks, those same Congressional allies of the gun lobby will try to pass gun industry immunity that would slam the courthouse doors on gun violence victims and protect reckless gun dealers like Bull’s Eye Shooter Supply, the gun dealer that “lost” the assault rifle used by the infamous Washington D.C. area snipers in October of 2002.

This is another of my pet peeves. The lawsuit is also against Bushmaster – the manufacturer of the firearm. How, precisely, is Bushmaster responsible for a gun stolen out of, or even legally sold out of any gunshop? If it can be proven that Bull’s Eye illegally sold the weapon, the lawsuit against it is not protected under this legislation, but Bushmaster is. And rightfully so. But you will never hear that from people like this.

“We are all entitled to a life free of gun violence,” said ESSENCE magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Diane Weathers.

Like hell you are, Ms. Weathers. Nor are you “entitled” to a life free from cancer, nor a life free from want.

This “entitlement” bullshit really jerks my chain.

“The magazine will work hard to help spread the word that women of every color and every economic background have an opportunity to be a force for positive change. The Million Mom March will unite these women and show the impact they have in saving lives.”

As the nation’s largest national, non-partisan, chapter-based grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence, the Million Mom March is dedicated to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in their communities.

ESSENCE magazine is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for eight million African-American women. The magazine delivers cutting-edge information on careers, money, health, fashion and beauty. Last year, ESSENCE was ranked seventh on Advertising Age’s “A-List,” which spotlights the best in the magazine industry for the year. This is the first time that an African-American targeted publication received this honor.

I will say that ESSENCE is probably a good forum for this, as the overwhelming majority of both perpetrators of homicide and victims of homicide are the tiny minority of urban black males between the ages of 15 and 35. They are, in fact, suffering from the equivalent of an epidemic of gun violence. But if you’re not young, male, urban, and black, your odds of being a victim of gun violence aren’t all that much worse than that of any average European. This argues that the problem isn’t one of guns, but one of culture – especially as recent black immigrants from African and Carribean nations have about the same risk as the general caucasian population.

Want to end it? Address that problem.

Oh, and stop defending Barbara Lipscomb. At least be consistent on that.

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