Dueling Rallies: Million Moms for Gun Control vs. Gun Appreciation Day
One Million Moms for Gun Control announced Friday it will sponsor "several major events" in January to demand "common-sense gun control laws."
The group said it will hold a demonstration at City Hall in New York on Monday, Jan. 21 -- which is Inauguration Day and the federal holiday marking Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. The goal of the Million Moms' rally is to "reinforce a message of nonviolence and a safer world for our children."
The group also is planning a second rally -- a march on Washington -- on Saturday, Jan. 26 to demand "immediate action on common-sense gun control legislation."
"Mothers will not rest until there is change," said Shannon Watts, founder of One Million Moms for Gun Control. "The alarm sounded for us after Sandy Hook, the 16th mass shooting of 2012, and now we are going to deliver our elected officials a wake-up call."
Moms who can't make it to the rallies will be able to take part in local and virtual gatherings.
Watts says the rapid growth of social media, the organizing power of mothers, and "our fierce, boundless love for our families" will ensure the campaign's success.
On the social media front, the Moms are launching a campaign called "How do you wear your heart?" The Internet will allow "Moms" across the country to "creatively connect and express their views on gun control." The campaign encourages supporters to wear special heart pins to show their support for gun control. And they'll be urged to share photos of themselves wearing those pins.
One Million Moms for Gun Control was formed within 24 hours of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. In less than a month it claims to have tens of thousands of members and 75 local chapters across the country.
Before the Moms piped up, a coalition of Second Amendment, Republican and tea party groups was urging Americans to stand up for their Second Amendment rights on Jan. 19.
The first annual Gun Appreciation Day invites gun owners and tea party activists across the country to demonstrate their passions: "On 01-19-13 go to your local gun store, gun range or gun show with your Constitution, American flags and your 'Hands Off My Guns' sign to send a loud and clear message to Congress and President Obama," the website says.
Jan. 19 falls two days before President Obama is publicly sworn in for his second term.
“The Obama administration has shown that it is more than willing to trample the Constitution to impose its dictates upon the American people,” said Gun Appreciation Day Chairman Larry Ward, president of Political Media, Inc., a Republican consulting group. "If the American people don’t fight back now, Obama will do the Second Amendment what he has already done to the First with Obamacare – gut it without a moment’s thought to our basic constitutional rights.”
MoveOn.org, a liberal activist group, is gathering signatures on a petition condemning Gun Appreciation Day.
The petition reads: Gun groups are planning to have a National Gun Appreciation Day on January 19th, the same weekend that Americans celebrate the life and service of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an American leader who was assassinated by a rifle's bullet. This is an outrage and a slap in the face to Americans who value life and freedom!"
Organizers say the petition will be delivered to the National Rifle Association.