Did Moms Demand Action Launch A Campaign Gun Owners Can Actually Support?


An ad for Moms’ Be SMART campaign. (Photo: Moms Demand Action)

A broken clock is right twice a day. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. Maybe those statements apply in this case, maybe they don’t, but by chance or by design it would appear that Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense is actually putting its dollars and its resources behind a cause that gun owners might actually support.

It’s called the “Be SMART” campaign, and it’s designed to reduce the number of accidental gun deaths, particularly those that involve young children.

SMART is an acronym for the following precautions: “Secure all guns in your home and vehicles; Model responsible behavior around guns; Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes; Recognize the warning signs of suicide; Tell your peers to be SMART.”

According to Moms Demand Action, which is part of Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, all of the following hold true:

  • Nearly two children are killed in unintentional shootings each week, 61 percent higher than federal data reflect.
  • About two-thirds of these unintended deaths — 65 percent — took place in a home or vehicle that belonged to the victim’s family, most often with guns that were legally owned but not secured.
  • More than two-thirds of these tragedies could be avoided if gun owners stored their guns responsibly and prevented children from accessing them.
  • Toddlers age 2-4 have the highest risk of unintentionally shooting themselves.

Now, I’m not sure how they arrived at those statistics. It’s quite possible that those numbers are inflated. Yet, even if they are, I think almost everyone agrees with the mindset that one accidental gun death is one too many. Supposing that we do indeed all share this zero tolerance approach to accidental shootings involving children perhaps we can agree that what Moms Demand Action is doing with the Be SMART campaign isn’t all that bad. On the contrary, it may help save lives.

Yes, I know what you’re going to say, it’s not a prefect prescription for the problem as it lacks the core element of gun safety: education. I agree. First and foremost, the emphasis should always be placed on educating children about firearms, not simply trying to keep guns out of their reach.

The theory behind this pro-active approach is no matter how hard a parent tries a parent can’t control all settings, situations and environments a child will encounter. Children may still find themselves in unsupervised situations where loaded firearms are present. Should that occur, one has to ask themselves which child is more equipped to deal with the loaded gun? And, by extension, which child will be more curious to touch and/or play with the firearm? The child who has been taught gun safety or the child who has been isolated from firearms his/her whole life.

Again, I'm not sure how Moms Demand Action arrives at some of these claims.  But the reality is that some non-trivial number of children die each year because parents fail to secure their firearms and teach their children gun safety.  (Photo: Moms Demand Action)

Again, I’m not sure how Moms Demand Action arrives at some of these claims. But regardless, the reality is that some non-trivial number of children die each year because parents fail to secure their firearms and teach their children gun safety. (Photo: Moms Demand Action)

I think the answer to those questions are rather obvious. As mentioned, a responsible parent should both educate the child on gun safety and keep all firearms secured. Unfortunately, the Be SMART campaign seems to push the latter while only alluding to the former with the “Model responsible behavior around guns” (That’s not exactly telling folks to teach thier children basic gun safety). So, yes, it has faults. But even with its faults, is it better than doing nothing on the issue?

If I’m being honest, I feel as though I have to give credit where credit is due. Moms Demand Action is finally doing something worthwhile that has the capacity to save lives. While I won’t be supporting the campaign, I’d much rather contribute to the NRA’s Eddie Eagle program or the NSSF’s Project Child Safe, I think it’s a step in the right direction for the organization.

I know it’s wishful thinking, but wouldn’t it be great if Moms Demand Action abandoned its misguided efforts to roll back the rights of law-abiding gun owners and instead put its full weight and power behind an initiative like Be SMART?

It’ll never happen. Bloomberg is too much of an anti-gunner to give up on his dream of disarming America. But maybe with some positive encouragement the other leaders within Moms Demand Action will recognize that they stand to gain a lot more support from the gun community if they focus mainly on a campaign like Be SMART.

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

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Brad Scales November 6, 2015, 1:09 pm

    I see it as rather telling that this article is now 8 months old and I have yet to see any effort to forward this SMART program and concept. I am a 24/7/365 consumer of national and world news. I stand by the contention that the original conceptualization of SMART, though worthy of attention, was disingenuous at the very least and indicative of Shannon Watts and her cronies viciously flapping their arms and never achieving flight.

  • Richard August 10, 2015, 1:35 pm

    Its funny how every thing she talks about in the clip will do nothing to keep gang-bangers from doing this type of crap. The only thing that will stop that is AGGRESSIVE policing of those gang infested neighborhoods. And then when a kid gangbanger gets shot, they will turn around and play the race card and say it was racism if it was a white cop or police brutality if black cops were involved

  • mirgc April 8, 2015, 10:54 am

    Just as a data-point: Since around 1988, gun accidents overall in the USA are down 80% (and appear to be continuing to decline). This per CDC data from their easy to use WISQARS data retrieval system.

  • Bryan April 2, 2015, 1:35 pm

    I can’t help by think that this is nothing more tgan a veiled attempt to indocrinate kids into MDA’s “guns are evil” mentality.

  • Russ March 15, 2015, 9:57 pm

    Here’s my long answer; NO!

  • Joe March 11, 2015, 5:49 am

    Give a gun control advocate an inch now and wave good by to your gun collection down the road.
    Bloomberg didn’t get to be a robber baron by talking strait…

  • denlars March 10, 2015, 3:42 pm

    What is all this chatter about? I have been a shooter, hunter, tactical shooter, former soldier and gun owner for over half a century now and most of my several guns are locked in a gun safe or a quick access safe. I don’t need to have some one tell me to lock them up, I decided that a long time ago. I raised five children. most of them shoot, and I have 7 grand children and just one of them getting hurt is TOO HIGH A PRICE to pay. I have a couple of guns up high and hidden that only I can reach in places my grand children are not allowed that are not locked up all the time but get put up when they are here. My sons and son in laws know where these are at if they need them. All my kids and grand kids know I carry almost all the time and they have been taught respect for firearms. The know not to even mention that Papa has a gun. Education and safety is a price we must pay to have guns! I teach them about dangerous tools, like saws,as well. Freedom always comes with responsibility!

  • Gary O March 10, 2015, 12:05 pm

    Do you remember how well the Prohibition Act worked in the 30’s? This will turn into the same thing. Do you really think the politicos will give up their armed guards and secured houses? GET REAL!!!!!! George Soros doesn’t go out without armed protection. Too many people want to see him in his grave.

  • Bob March 9, 2015, 5:20 pm

    There is (at least) one troubling part of the “SMART” campaign: Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes. This seems too closely related to various other efforts to make public the names of gun owners and to specify “acceptable” ways to store firearms.

  • DaveGinOly March 9, 2015, 1:42 pm

    Readers are correct to advise caution. These ideas from the left always come with strings. The left doesn’t actually believe in personal responsibility, they believe in state-mandated rules. The follow-on to “SMART” will be a drive for laws requiring certain types of mandatory gun storage in the home that will inevitably reduce firearms’ effectiveness for the defense of same.

  • Bill Richardson March 9, 2015, 12:40 pm

    Why should we support this anti-gun group’s message just because they happen to get one right? I am all for securing your weapons in your home whether you have children there or not. It just makes good common sense. I have listened to the argument that, in the event of a home invasion you won’t be able to get to your gun in time if it is secure. To that I say Nuts!! If you get a good bedside safe, and practice removing your weapon quickly, then you should have ample time to get to that weapon before the intruder gets to you. If you are so groggy when you are awakened that you can’t manipulate your safe to get to your weapon (I have also heard that one) then you should think twice before having any weapon at your bedside in the first place for fear of shooting a loved one that got up to use the bathroom, or even shooting yourself. If you train with your safe like you should be training with your firearm, then you should be just as adept at removing that firearm as you are at hitting the mark with it. As far as this overly emotional group of cackling hens that call themselves “Moms Demand Action” go, I choose not to be pragmatic.

  • John March 9, 2015, 9:35 am

    I don’t think I could ever get behind a “moms demand” action of any sort.

    Even if we can agree on all their surface points, their motive is still the same, and that’s to remove weapon of self defense from law abiding peoples hands. Should you maybe take this advice that “moms” is putting out there? Sure, none of it seems like terrible adivice, in fact it seems pretty smart.

    But be advised, the leftist is a tricky foe, and they will create moments of mutal agreement, to suck you into their thinking. They will try to get you to understand their point, of which they have none, beyond gun control. Common ground, will give them andd edge in pushing their BS agenda, and even allowing them an inch is unacceptable.

  • richard March 9, 2015, 9:19 am

    “One is one too many”> Really? What about 30,000-40,000 auto fatalities, 100,000 deaths in medical, dozens of boating deaths, many construction deaths, train deaths, drownings, police shootings, etc. etc. Yoyo is correct, no risk = no freedom.

  • Lee Cruse March 7, 2015, 8:47 am

    On the surface, it seems to be reasonable, but I would have to learn a lot about the implementation and the use of any information gathered before I could support anything this group supports. Now, if these moms really wanted to help they should give their support to the NSSF ChildSafe project. It is real and is doing good already. Bloomberg should be able to kick in a sizable donation to NSSF for this effort, that is if he really cared about the issue.

  • Catherine March 6, 2015, 8:47 am

    I haven’t seen this campaign. They must be devoting a lot less time and resources to it than to their attacks on legal gun owners and safety classes. Shannon Watts vicious campaign to villify Melody Lauer, the Iowa mom/firearms instructor who started the workshop for gun owning parents to learn safe carry techniques, got a lot more attention.

  • yoyo March 4, 2015, 10:42 am

    “I think almost everyone agrees with the mindset that one accidental gun death is one too many. Supposing that we do indeed all share this zero tolerance approach to accidental shootings involving children”

    Please, I implore you to avoid this kind of language (“one too many” “zero tolerance”) when supporting gun rights, or any right to do anything. It plays into the totalitarian mindset. Freedom always comes with risks, and while accidents with guns or knives or automobiles or whatever are always lamentable, they are not an excuse or justification to infringe on essential freedoms.

    No risk = no freedom. There are better ways to state the case for gun safety and training. Otherwise, you play right into the hands of “progressives” who are not only after your guns, but your free speech, freedom of religion and everything else down to what you are allowed to eat.

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