Imagine an organization so widespread that it has a chapter in every state, or a community so like-minded they stand 10 million strong. That is the reality for Moms Demand Action — a “grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence,” which has gained traction across the country since its formation in 2012.
Moms Demand Action, like many social need organizations, was born in response to tragedy. In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, Shannon Watts — founder of MDA — made a Facebook post urging the American public to take a more serious approach toward gun violence. This post served as a launching point for what would later become a network of parents, students, survivors, community members and more to rally around a crisis they dubbed “uniquely American.”
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Now, with a plethora of concerned citizens in the ranks, MDA continues to take decisive action to “pass stronger gun laws and work to close the loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our families.” They are also dedicated to working inside their respective communities, where they can “encourage a culture of responsible gun ownership.”
Despite the victories MDA — and its sister organizations Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Students Demand Action under the umbrella of Everytown For Gun Safety — have had since their onset, gun violence is still on the rise in America. With incidents such as the mass shooting that unfolded in Highland Park over Fourth of July weekend, it is becoming increasingly necessary for communities to have a resource to go to when tragedy strikes. And, even more important — that resource must reflect the same grief and hope present in the movement.
As an additional response to the Highland Park incident, fellow weary community members have banded together and will be marching in Washington, D.C. for the cause July 13. March Fourth — an anti-assault weapons organization founded by North Shore resident Kitty Brandter — is still within the first week of its inception and already more than 500 community members have pledged support to take their mission to the Capitol. The outpouring of concern from locals is what fuels March Fourth’s mission. “There are survivors that are so incredibly brave, that are turning their grief and severe despair into action and the time is right now,” Brandter said, according to a WGN article.
MDA is always encouraging new participants to join and help strengthen their mission. Every chapter hosts frequent meetings on a rolling basis — from regular monthly meetings to summer book clubs at some chapters. If you are interested in joining a Chicagoland group, such as the Deerfield/Highland Park chapter, there will be a New Member Meeting July 26 at 7pm — more information can be found on this MDA registration page.
— Mike Lowe (@MikeLoweReports) July 13, 2022
For those curious about other chapters, browse the locations catalog on the Moms Demand Action website. Or, to donate to their cause — which actively pressures lawmakers, boosts awareness and education, and mobilizes supporters — you can visit their donation page.
More from Better:
- 4 Steps to Take to Support the Fight Against Gun Violence
- What Drives Someone to Commit Violence and How Can We Help Break the Cycle? A Licensed Clinical Psychologist Weighs In
- Chicago Has a Problem With Gun Violence, Arne Duncan Has a Solution: How Chicago CRED Is Working With Shooters to Stop the Shootings
Margaret Smith is a Chicago-based writer and editor with a passion for socio-political storytelling about their community. They are a graduate of Columbia College Chicago.