In a new ad that has gone viral on Facebook, two little girls stare stonily into the camera. “One child is holding something that’s been banned in America to protect them,” reads the caption above them. “Guess which one.” The pig-tailed girl pictured on the left holds a copy of an edition of Little Red Riding Hood. The girl pictured on the right? An assault rifle.
It turns out the book was banned by two California school districts – because of the bottle of wine in Little Red’s basket.
The ad is jarring and part of a powerful campaign from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a grassroots effort which is fighting for stricter gun control.
“We wanted some emotion in our ads, because a lot of what’s been done around asking for gun reforms has been very pragmatic,” Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, tells Parenting.com.
“And we wear a different hat as an organization of mothers in this discussion. We really wanted to bring in children and emotion, and to use absurdity to point out how lax and weak our current gun laws are, both at the federal and state level.”
Watts, a 42-year-old mother of five in Indiana, felt like she had to act in the aftermath of Sandy Hook. On the day after the shooting, she sat down at her computer in her kitchen and searched for an organization like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, but for gun control. When she couldn’t find anything, Watts decided to change that.
“I had 175 friends at the time on Facebook, and I just thought, ‘I’ll create my own page,’” Watts says. Within hours and then days she says she had thousands of likes and offers of volunteer support from across the country, she says, including offers of pro bono help from lawyers, communicators, fundraisers, and advertising firms.
Plus: (Toy) Gun Control
Moms Demand Action advocates for mandatory background checks on all gun and ammunition purchases, the ban of assault weapons holding more than 10 rounds, required regulation of large amounts of purchased ammunition, and making gun trafficking a federal crime.
This week, they are holding “Stroller Jam” protests across the country to ask senators to vote in favor of stricter gun reforms. Moms Demand Action is also congregating in Capitol Hill this Wednesday for what Watts calls “the mother of all Stroller Jams.”
“We think it's really effective for legislatures to look into the eyes of our children and to see why this is important to us, and to vote in the best interest of our children as opposed to special interests,” says Watts.
Watts joined Vice President Joe Biden and others in a conference call yeterday about gun safety. Biden spoke out in support of background checks, a federal law to stop criminals from trafficking in guns, and putting more police on the streets.
“For most people, the debate about guns in this country was abstract and philosophical until Newton,” he said. “And when they found out about those 20 little babies who were riddled with bullets, and those six courageous teachers and administrators trying to protect them, it began to change everything.”
Do you agree with the demands of these moms, or do they go too far? Leave a comment.