The Cycle | March 11, 2013
>>> on wednesday, moms will descend with the simple demand. when it come to guns, we know that nothing is ever easy. but just as mothers against drunk driving fundamentally altered that national debate, can mom personal touch get congress to act. mom can be pretty convincing. joining us now, shannon watts. foundert of the appropriately name grassroots group. thank you for being with us. i was hoping you could talk about your inspiration to start this group. is this your first convenient you are into advocacy and activism or have you done this before? and how is the evolution of the group been going?
>> i am what i would refer to as an accidental activist. i never did this in 90 entire life. i was a stay at home mom for five years until sandy hook . that really changed everything for so many moms to have 20 elementary school students shot down. some 11 times each in the sanctity of their elementary school . it was a changing bell for everyone. we are spending 15 hours a day as volunteers to try to make a difference and to tell our legislators at the federal and state level that we are not going to rest until there are stronger gun laws in place in this country.
>> let's talk about the push for new gun laws . obviously there is a whole package that will ultimately reach congress in a few weeks and we'll see what happens. my sense is when you talk to people in washington, people pushing for this, what they're saying is the assault weapons ban being proposed, that probably won't happen. limits on high capacity clips, that probably won't happen. what they seem to be focusing on is this universal back ground idea. the whole private sale loophole where 40% of the guns are purchased, doing away with that. if that is something that happens this year, how significant do you think that would be to get that one piece of legislation through? i think it is extremely significant. we are not going to rest until we not only have background checks , we have some kind of regulation to track ammunition. right now you can buy thousands of rounds of ammunition with absolutely no proof of moich, unlike sudafed. we'll be happy if that happens. we'll be back in the mid-term and back again after that. this is something that we'll fight day to day until we get some common sense changes to our laws.
>> i was looking at your website. the actions that your group is calling for, banning so-called assault weapons that hold more than ten rounds. you want background checks . you want report sale of ammo and ban online sales. and weakening at the state level. i'm wondering, if your group is also concerned with mental health issues. i'm thinking about newtown and this was a very sick young man who notton killed children but also his own mother. are moms concerned about mental health or just gun in.
>> absolutely. there are a lot of reasons this country is so violent. whether you're looking at hollywood or not video game or the mental health system. there are a lot of thing that need to be addressed. what we can do now and what moms demand action for gun sense in america is focused on are changing the gun laws . that is our sole focus at the federal and state level. there are some very easy fixes that can be done quickly. we will no longer sit by and allow our members of congress to turn their backs on common sense legislation. it is absolutely unbelievable that the nra has been allowed to drive these laws so long. not just congress but our state legislatures . that is our focus.
>> we welcome you to this legislation. changing that conversation, so you have a chance to do. that i noticed within the gun conversation, the gun rights people want to make it, what i am a supposed to do when a criminal bursts in with a gun. if it was more honest and based around the fact women are far more likely to be killed by a gun in the hand of an intimate partner. a husband, a lover, a friend, than by a stranger with any implement at all. if we knew that would have a much more honest gun conversation.
>> that's absolutely right. you know, we are not about banning all guns or changing the second amendment. but what we are about is making sure that this idea of where we have shields over our schools and our kids to go school with bullet proof backpacks and every one is armed and the bad guys shoot it out with the good guys over our kids' heads. that is not going to happen in this country. we're awake now and we are going to fight for common sense gun laws as long it is a takes.
>> i know it is not easy to put yourself in a public spotlight and take on a big issue like this. if more people did it, the country would be better. thank you so much for your activism.
>> thank you.
>>> up next, if you thought former defense secretary william cohen was out to change the world , you haven't met his