To many, December 14th was an average Friday. But it was also the 6th anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting, where a 20-year-old shooter in Sandy Hook, Connecticut took the lives of 20 students and 6 staff members in Sandy Hook Elementary School. On the anniversary, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America held a vigil in memory of the 26 who lost their lives 6 years ago.
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, or simply called Moms Demand Action, started six years ago as a conversation on Facebook by Shannon Watts, only one day after the tragedy of Sandy Hook. Since then, Moms Demand Action has grown to a nationwide movement for gun laws in America, having at least one chapter in every state in the nation with over 5 million members.
I got a chance to interview Shannon Watts about the tremendous success that is Moms Demand Action, something she did not anticipate. She said she only expected Moms Demand Action to be an online conversation. I asked her why she thinks Moms Demand Action has grown so big, to which she replied “We have so many school shootings in this country.”
Along with Shanon Watts, Tom Sullivan, who lost his son in the Aurora Movie Shooting and was recently elected to the Colorado House of Representatives, reverend Amanda Henderson, and newly elected U.S. Congressman Jason Crow were at the vigil.
I got the chance to talk to one of the leaders of the Aurora chapter of Moms Demand Action, Jessica Price, who joined the cause shortly following the Parkland school shooting. She said she got into it after seeing the Parkland shooting survivors getting so involved, so she and her sister, Andrea Herbert, the other leader of the Aurora chapter of Moms Demand Action, thought if those kids can do it, there was no excuse for them not to.
I also interviewed Tom Sullivan, a newly elected member of the Colorado House of Representatives who lost his son to the Aurora Movie Theater shooting five months before Sandy Hook. He said it gave him and his wife, Terry pause to know something that happened to them happened to someone else when asked what affect Sandy Hook had on him as a parent of a victim of a mass shooting. To quote, “It gave us pause knowing what was going on somewhere else that we have already experienced.”
Since 2012, when it all started, Moms Demand Action has been looking to make gun sense laws that don’t interfere with the 2nd amendment, but work protect milllions of innocent people from shootings. Moms Demand Action works to as well as stopping the gun lobby pro-gun groups like the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Association from getting their way. In the words of Reverend Amanda Henderson, “How can we let a little line in the constitution to allow weapons of mass destruction?”