The gun control advocates’ passion and willingness to personally step up and make a difference puts them in the same camp as historic social movements, like the fight for civil rights.
— Todd Gitlin, journalism and sociology professor.
Kara Baekey: “I remember the night I created my (Facebook) page I asked my husband, `Are you sure you’re OK with me doing this, because I have a feeling it’s going to snowball.'” There were taunts from men telling them to drop the cause and return to their housework, and so many “scary” comments that Baekey banned 30 people from her Facebook page.
They started out cautiously, afraid of attracting unwanted attention from their opponents, gun rights supporters like the National Rifle Association, who they knew were not only well-organized and well-funded, but armed.
But as the women who founded Connecticut’s three chapters of One Million Moms for Gun Control watched their membership skyrocket, and witnessed 5,500 people turn out at last month’s March for Change in Hartford, they abandoned their fear.
The One Million Moms group, founded the day after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, now claims 80,000 members in 80 chapters nationwide. Still largely made up of women, the group has even changed its name to the more muscular “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.”
“I can’t say it’s unprecedented, but it’s a remarkable moment,” said Todd Gitlin, journalism and sociology professor at Columbia University. He should know. Gitlin was part of a culture-changing grassroots movement once himself. President of Students for a Democratic Society, or SDS, Gitlin helped organize national demonstrations against the Vietnam war.
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