Shannon Watts believes the gun-ban lobby’s victory is all but inevitable.
Comparing the anti-gun movement to campaigns fighting tobacco and drunk driving, the founder of the gun-control group Moms Demand Action told Think Progress that the gun-banners are finally beginning to get the upper hand.
“We out-maneuvered the NRA at the midterm elections, for the first time ever. And that sends a strong a cultural signal,” she said.
In the interview/advertisement for her new book, Watts tells the story of an unassuming stay-at-home mom who unwillingly found herself at the forefront of the nation’s largest disarmament movement.
“Becoming an activist was certainly something I never saw myself doing,” she said. “I had absolutely no background in political activism or in gun violence prevention and yet I knew our nation was broken, I knew I had to do something and so many other women and moms felt the same way after Sandy Hook.”
Asked what she’d like to communicate to other gun control activists, Watts responded, “We’re winning. People are waiting for this cathartic moment in Congress that hasn’t happened yet, but it’s so important to pay attention to the work that’s being done on the ground. We are winning in state houses and in board rooms.”
Not every state house. New Hampshire local media reports that one of the lobbyists for Everytown for Gun Safety, the organization that bankrolls Moms Demand Action, was arrested and charged with domestic violence-simple assault, false imprisonment, and criminal mischief.
Police claim Robert Blaisdell, a managing partner for lobbying Demers, Blaisdell & Parsol Inc., locked a family member in a laundry room, stepped on the person’s hand, and destroyed their cell phone.
Still, despite what must be a setback in New Hampshire, Watts’ group has made headway in state legislatures across the country.
With the help of Moms Demand Action, many states have passed or are considering “red flag laws,” including the historically pro-gun legislature in Florida. Red flag bills have been introduced in nearly every state, and pro-gun activists have had to scramble to defeat them.
Historically less gun-friendly states have passed even more draconian gun control measures. Washington, for example, recently passed ballot initiative I-1639, which raises the age to purchase a firearm, creates a registry of gun owners, establishes a 10-day waiting period for certain purchases, holds gun owners liable for failing to secure firearms, and allows the state to charge a $25 fee on the sale of “assault rifles.”
None of this is to say that Watts is right to claim, like Thanos, that her victory is inevitable or that her group can take credit for these anti-gun victories. But gun owners would be wise to pay careful attention to their state legislatures and be ready to take action when the Moms descend.