Moms Demand Action Hires New Exec. Director: Will She Approach Gun Violence Honestly?

Moms Demand Action hires new Executive Director.
Moms Demand Action hires new Executive Director, Angela Ferrell-Zabala. (Photo: Twitter)

This week Moms Demand Action made a historic appointment, naming Angela Ferrell-Zabala as its first-ever executive director.

Ferrell-Zabala is taking over for Moms’ Founder Shannon Watts, who is stepping back from her leadership role in the organization.

“I’ve been grateful to have Angela by my side for the past four years as both a colleague and a friend, and I know Moms Demand Action will thrive with her new guidance and leadership,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action in a press release obtained by GunsAmerica.

“For ten years, Moms Demand Action has been changing the calculus on gun safety,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, incoming Executive Director of Moms Demand Action. “As Executive Director, I’m excited to help usher in the next decade, leading our grassroots volunteers as we stand shoulder to shoulder with survivors, students, mayors, faith leaders, and lawmakers in the fight for a safer world than what the gun lobby has tried to create for us.”

While many in the gun community probably don’t care about this news, one can argue that with new leadership comes new opportunity.

Maybe, just maybe, Ferrell-Zabala will be more open to having constructive dialogue with those on the opposite side of the gun divide. Maybe she’ll be more objective in her approach to solving gun-related violence in America.

That is to say, instead of focusing on ineffective and unconstitutional prohibitions on commonly owned firearms and accessories, the new executive director will target the main driver of violent crime in any given community: hyper-violent offenders who are allowed to terrorize their fellow citizens with impunity.

SEE ALSO: Obama, Newsom Repeat Lie: ‘Guns Are Number One Killer of Children’

To be fair, Ferrell-Zabala shouldn’t take our word for it. She should consider what The Trace, the Bloomberg-funded publication, has to say about the matter. From a 2022 bulletin report by The Trace:

The relatively small number of young people driving the bulk of shootings in Washington, D.C. A report from the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, which is working with the District on a plan to diagnose and reduce the city’s gun violence, concluded that at least 500 identifiable people annually drive 60-70 percent of the city’s shootings — and likely no more than 200 individuals at any given moment in time. The report analyzed D.C.’s 341 homicides in 2019 and 2020 and found that the average age of a homicide victim was 31 and the average age of a suspect was 27. They found that guns were used in 85 percent of all homicides, over 90 percent of victims and suspects were male, and about 96 percent of victims and suspects were Black. Moreover, about 86 percent of victims and suspects had been known to the criminal justice system, and a sizable number had previously been victims of a violent incident. Personal disputes were the most common cause of a homicide, making up 21 percent of all cases. 

For clarity, here are those NICJR findings in chart form:

Annual number driving 60-70% of city’s shootings500 identifiable people
Maximum individuals driving shootings at any given moment200 individuals
Average age of homicide victim31 years old
Average age of homicide suspect27 years old
Homicides involving guns85%
Male victims and suspectsOver 90%
Black victims and suspects96%
Victims and suspects known to criminal justice system86%
Victims with previous violent incident experienceSizable number
Personal disputes causing homicides21%
Source: National Institute for Criminal Justice ReformReport on Washington, D.C.

Clearly, D.C.’s very strict gun control laws are having no effect on the small group of identifiable criminals responsible for the majority of the city’s violence. And, for the record, D.C. imposes all of the following, per Giffords:

  • Universal background checks
  • Gun owner licensing
  • Handgun dealer licensing
  • Extreme risk protection orders
  • Most domestic violence gun laws
  • Assault weapon restrictions
  • Large-capacity magazine ban
  • Waiting Periods 
  • Child access prevention laws
  • Open Carry Regulations 
  • Strong concealed carry law

Creating a “safer world,” to use Ferrell-Zabala’s words, starts with acknowledging the source of the problem. In the case of D.C., it’s certainly not the lack of gun control. It’s the known criminals, who don’t give a rip about universal background checks or bans on black rifles or waiting periods.

As David Muhammad, the executive director of NICJR, told DCist about the report’s findings last year, “This very small number of high-risk individuals are identifiable. Their violence is predictable and therefore it is preventable.”

SEE ALSO: Bloomberg’s Gun Control Push, His ‘News’ Site & The Chinese Communist Party

“It’s extremely difficult engaging a 25-year-old who has seven previous adult arrests, who is an avowed member of his neighborhood clique, who’s not currently interested in services, but that is the individual we have to serve,” he added. “That’s the individual we have to pour resources into.” 

Solving violence is a people problem, not a gun problem. Fix broken people and incarcerate dangerous ones. Yes, that’s easier said than done. But still, any serious violence prevention strategist needs to recognize this truth if they want to make any impact at all.

Because as much as Moms Demand Action wants to believe that gun control disarms hyper-violent individuals, it doesn’t. D.C. is proof of that. Let’s hope that Ferrell-Zabala is paying attention. Let us also hope she’s willing to target the root of the problem.

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

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  • Matt Nation April 28, 2023, 5:26 pm

    Wow, is that what they’re calling gangs now, a “neighborhood clique”. I guess it sounds better, eh.

  • Big Al 45 April 28, 2023, 10:07 am

    Asking for honesty from emotionally based and biased people is akin to asking for a fair hearing at the Peoples Court of Nazi Germany.
    It just ain’t gonna happen.

  • Doug Stead April 28, 2023, 8:40 am

    The author is right. Most people reading this column on this posting are gun enthusiasts and certainly don’t live in DC. We don’t care about the poor black people in DC being disarmed by their government and preyed upon by their own. They do, but they get what they vote for. When these fools try to come to our neighborhoods we will vote them out and resist them every step of the way in order to keep our 2nd Amendment rights.

    • Brian May 14, 2023, 4:32 pm

      What a counterproductive comment. I care, because we live in a nation of laws and I want “the poor black people in DC” to have the same Constitutional rights that I do, to include the right to keep and bear arms. If you do not care about people being denied their civil rights just because they do not live in your neighborhoods how can you expect anyone elsewhere to care when YOUR civil rights are denied?

  • Mark N. April 28, 2023, 1:25 am

    They’re just swapping deck chairs in the Titanic. Better looking, it seems, but the script will be the same.

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