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Five years after Sandy Hook, U.S. gun-control advocates switch strategy


NEW YORK (Reuters) – Five years after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school, advocates who are disappointed with the failure of efforts to limit access to firearms are changing their strategy.

Instead of pressuring lawmakers to push new gun-control measures through the U.S. Congress, volunteers from groups including Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America are now running for office themselves.  

Nine of 13 volunteers trained by the group ran for office this year and won seats, ranging from New Hampshire state representative to city council member in West University Place, Texas. Fourteen more have already declared their intentions to run for office in 2018, seeking seats in Congress, state legislatures and local government, all running as Democrats.

“The reality is that the work doesn’t really start in Congress. That’s where it ends,” said Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts, who launched her group the day after the Dec. 14, 2012, massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

The group began training candidates after more than 400 of its 70,000 members said they were interested in running for office.

“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” Watts said. “It’s going to take several election cycles.”

Even if the next class of candidates, none of whom are running as Republicans, succeed in winning office, they will face an uphill battle against a U.S. Congress controlled by Republicans, who are staunch defenders of the right to bear arms protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Sandy Hook was at the time the second-deadliest mass shooting carried out by a single gunman in U.S. history. It sparked new energy among gun-control advocates who pushed for fresh federal restrictions on assault weapons, which were blocked by Republican lawmakers and the powerful National Rifle Association lobby.

A steady stream of mass shootings have continued across the United States since Sandy Hook, including two deadlier incidents – the slaughter of 58 people at a Las Vegas concert in October and the massacre of 49 people at an Orlando gay nightclub last year.


Mark Barden, whose son Daniel was among the 20 first graders killed in Newtown, said he believes grass roots achievements like the new crop of gun-control candidates will lead to more action.

“This is a social change and it takes time,” Barden said. “What’s happening in Congress notwithstanding, the change is going to come from the ground up.”

In the meantime, Barden is working with Sandy Hook Promise, a volunteer effort to prevent more shooting deaths. The group said that in the past two years it has trained 2.5 million students and families to recognize signs of potential gun violence and report them to authorities.

Social change, whether it is about drunk driving or recycling, comes from the ground up, said Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son Dylan died in the Sandy Hook attack.

“In the gun violence prevention movement, we have not focused on getting behavioral change. It’s all been focused on top-down and that is not how you get change,” she said.

Next year’s class of gun-control candidates includes a mother whose son was shot dead and a bystander paralyzed from the middle of her chest down in a drive-by shooting.

Lara Kennedy is running for U.S. House of Representatives in the Texas district that encompasses Austin and north of San Antonio.

Lucy McBath, whose only child Jordan Davis was shot dead after an argument over music while parked in Florida in 2012, is running for the Georgia House of Representatives.

In Arizona, Jennifer Longdon, who was wounded in a random 2004 shooting, also is seeking to become a state representative. In Arkansas, Adrienne Kvello is challenging incumbent Republican state Representative Charlie Collins, who sponsored bills to put more guns on college campuses, in courthouses and the state capitol.

Amber Gustafson, a gun-owning Moms Demand Action volunteer and life-long Republican who switched her party registration to Democrat last year, said if she wins her race for an Iowa state Senate seat, she will fight for gun safety laws aimed at preventing another Sandy Hook.

“I‘m pro people defending their Second Amendment rights. But I also believe and know that good laws can really protect lives,” Gustafson said.


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12 Responses to Five years after Sandy Hook, U.S. gun-control advocates switch strategy

  1. Jamal says:

    This is something I always say true Americans who cherish the bill of rights are supposed to do. These commies are scum for sure but they’re often very organized ( by Zionist money and brains of course). But when people ask ” what can we do about it all “? This. This very thing. Be the people to take office even in the smallest ways. Of course that’s not all there is to it but it’s a step. I’ve been trying to advocate for this to many people and myself am considering how to get into it. We need to fight fire with fire as the saying goes. Waiting for them to knock on our doors is not in my opinion, an option. I could be wrong but isn’t worth trying for?

    • Henry Shivley says:

      I disagree, Jamal. I have documented blatant voter fraud, right down to the municipal level. You will not get past their ground troops in the masonic lodges that exist in every venue across this nation.
      This thing will begin as feud, implementing vigilante justice. They will stop seeing us as invisible when they start showing up in dumpsters and ditches. And there is no saying this isn’t going on already as they are not going to report it. We will find out about it when it becomes self-evident. There are only so many of them to attempt to maintain control over so many of us.
      Our stance must be total resistance and that means we do not participate in their fraudulent elections, as it is a lie. Until our Bill of Rights is restored we do not have the capacity to decide, as we are slaves. There is only one route for the slave and that is straight up uprising. When our true founders fought for this country, they didn’t go and apply to become part of the aristocracy as they rejected the idea of third party governess outright.
      We are not going to get what we want accept through total bloody war.

      • Martist says:

        Nothing gets done without grease and is completely corrupt, even at the local level. I can attest to that, firsthand. Thanks for your perfectly succinct assessment. I attempted to mash out some words but it ended up being angry, ham-fisted and potentially damaging to my keyboard!

    • JoeSTP says:

      Hangout with the “Hells Angels” and turn them into good honest folk and see who turns first you or them! No different in the Politics.

    • Katie says:

      Jamal, good advice after we’ve taken care of business. Although I don’t suppose to many folk are gonna be real willing to participate in govt. once they know that upon first infraction, it’s straight to the gallows because we’ll put in that Bill of Rights and Constitution that any servant of the masters, we the people, found in violation will go to the gallows straightaway.

  2. Enemy of the State says:

    what they need to get into their heads is


    so every thing they try to attach to this is bunk

    oh and “Gun Safety” laws and infringing on law abiding peoples rights , WILL NOT CHANGE THIS, or stop any “alleged shooting” or any future shootings or LIES and MADE up SHOOTINGS

  3. Koorz says:

    A few observations:

    1. MSM ALWAYS starts with reinforcing the Official Lie

    2. Virtually ALL MSM no longer has a comments section. Too afraid their lies will be called out.

    3. Ol’ Gustav’ has forgotten there’s already 22,000 ‘good laws’ on the books.

  4. Philadelphian says:

    Just jews trying to disarm americans so they can make a communist heaven out of it’s white minority who’ve been disarmed for their monkeyun armies they fly in on fedex planes at night, just like Merkle does in Berlin.

  5. Jolly Roger says:

    No one listened to them when they were an activist group, and no one’s going to listen to them when they’re congresswomen, either.

    A.I.P.A.C. decides who holds office by funding the campaigns of their favorites, smearing the opposition in the press, and rigging the election when necessary.

    But it doesn’t matter who holds office anymore, because the American people have had enough of the BS.

  6. # 1 NWO Hatr says:

    “The reality is that the work doesn’t really start in Congress. That’s where it ends,” said Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts…”

    That’s YOUR Matrix ‘reality’, you stupid, brain-dead commie cow.

    The TRUE reality is, when your treason has been accomplished, and you’re no longer a useful tool, you’ll be nothing more than FEMA/.40 fodder.

  7. Peter says:

    Too many inconsistencies and discrepancies to count. But here are just 2…….9 of the victims parents home mortgages were paid off on Christmas Day 2009….three years earlier….and the 26 Christmas trees leaned up around the fire house in the earliest aerial footage one for each victim before the bodies were cold…if there were any. Merry Christmas! Feel free to add commentary.I’ve given up trying to give example after example to others. At least Wolfgang Halbit may still be trying. Lucy Richards got in trouble.

    • Bud Fox says:

      I always enjoyed the aerial film from over the firehouse that was sped-up so we could see the pattern of movement…all those people in lines filing around and around to make it appear like a much larger crowd…you know, like a drill.
      Speaking of drills, wasn’t there a FEMA drill in the next town over? Wasn’t it a drill about a mass shooting at a school? Sorta like the FEMA drill at the hospital in Aurora, CO just down the street from the movie theater…a drill whose theme was, …wait for it….
      a mass shooting at a movie theater!

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