It’s About Time! Shannon Watts Tells It Like It Was And Is.

              Well it’s about time. The Indiana housewife who revolutionized how America talks and thinks about guns has finally sat down and explained how she did what she did after hearing about the tragedy at Sandy Hook.  I’m of course referring to Shannon Watts, whose accounting of her journey from her kitchen to Mike Bloomberg’s office and back to her kitchen, with many stops in between, will shortly be published by Harper Collins and I hope will force Shannon to get back on her horse and do the requisite book tour.

              The book is entitled, Fight Like A Mother, and the sub-title, which I really like, is How a Grassroots Movement Took on the Gun Lobby and Why Women Will Change the World. The good news about this book is that while most folks write memoirs to sum up what they have done with their lives, Shannon is just getting ready to star in Act 2. Her first act, of course, was when she transformed a little Facebook group that she pulled together after Sandy into the first, truly grass-roots challenge to the NRA. And if anything, referring to her as the ‘NRA‘s worst nightmare’ is something of an understatement in this regard.

              I have been involved in the gun business in one way or another for over fifty years, actually for more than sixty years because my first connection was as a consumer when I bought a Smith & Wesson K-38 at a tag sale in Florida when I was twelve years old. Okay, okay, I know it was a straw sale. But in 1956 there weren’t any straw sales because there were hardly any laws covering gun ownership at all.

              When the feds got into gun regulation big-time, first in 1968 and again in 1994, the impetus for regulating the gun industry came not from the bottom but from the top. GCA68 was initially a response to the assassination of JFK in 1963; it was passed following the shootings of RFK and MLK in 1968. The gun law passed by the Clinton Administration in 1993 were also first introduced in 1991, although the idea behind the bill had been floating around since both Reagan and Jim Brady survived an assassination attempt in 1981.

              Not only did the 1968 and the 1993 laws pass muster without any great degree of grass-roots support, but in the aftermath of the 2000 election, when Al Gore couldn’t hold his home state because of pro-gun messaging from the other side, it became axiomatic in Democratic Party circles that the gun issue was best left alone.

              I am a Life Benefactor Endowment member of the NRA and I never thought that the organization’s alleged power and strength was such a big deal. Why not? Because I never met a single person who ever told me they would vote for the candidate supported by America’s ‘first civil rights organization’ who didn’t own a gun. And since a majority of Americana don’t own guns, how come everyone has always been afraid of the big, bad NRA?

              I’ll tell you why.  Because until Shannon went out there and began putting together a plan, the grass-roots movement to stop the madness known as gun violence didn’t exist. It was one thing to do what our friend Donna Dees Thomases did in 2000, namely, to fill the National Mall with nearly one million people for a demonstration against gun violence. It’s another thing to organize and sustain a national movement which puts out a coherent and continuous message every single day.

              Last month I attended a meeting of the Massachusetts chapter of MOMs.  Several hundred people filled a large room in a community library and listened to remarks from gun-violence survivors, community activists and other like-minded folks. What is most attractive about Shannon’s book is that it is not only a recounting of what she has accomplished over the last half-dozen years, it’s also a guide to building your own movement, to pushing your own community forward into making effective change.

              And by the way, with all due respect to the strengths of women in this regard, my male friends will profit from reading this book too.

6 thoughts on “It’s About Time! Shannon Watts Tells It Like It Was And Is.

  1. Being in Everytown as a volunteer on their Gun Sense Action Network calling team, I once got a call from Shannon thanking me for my service. Unfortunately, she called on the wrong day. I had just previously got into a pee-ing match with some local Everytown leaders over the group’s stand on Constitutional Carry, silencers and a few other choice topics.
    So when Shannon called I was seething & not in the mood for convivial conversation. It didn’t go very well.

  2. As follow-up to my comment, above, and to be clear, I’m between 92% to 96% behind Everytown’s platform.

  3. Pingback: It’s About Time! Shannon Watts Tells It Like It Was And Is. — Mike The Gun Guy™ | The View From Out West

  4. I forgot why Shannon Watts blocked me on Twitter but it was a multipart conversation and I suspect someone got rude. I was blocked by Ceasefire Oregon after tweeting them that their definition of a “high capacity magazine” as anything more than 5 rounds was utterly unreasonable and would ban most semiauto mags, not just high cap/double stack ones. For example, my Springfield Range Officer or my old man’s Gold Cup has a standard seven rd mag. My High Standard Supermatic Trophy holds 10.

    Blocked. If people are that fragile, they shouldn’t be in this line of work.

  5. Ms. Watts made her face famous on the alphabet media, calling for “an open and honest discussion” on the issue of guns – yet she and her group have made a standing practice to block anyone who disagrees or questions their official stance, and blocks anyone doing so. Not exactly what she claimed to be for, is it?

    But that shouldn’t be surprising, has an alter-ego – Shannon Troughton (she’s also used the names Shannon Marmion Watts, Shannon Renee Troughton, Shannon Renee Weaver and Shannon Renee Marmion, but who’s counting).

    Shannon Watts, the cookie-baking June Cleaver clone might be her latest incarnation, but the woman you bill as an “Indiana Housewife” was once a high powered executive level Public Relations professional, included in PR Week magazine’s list of “40 under forty” movers and shakers to watch in the PR industry, and it’s not surprising why. Let’s look at her resume on LinkedeIn:

    President
    VoxPop Public Relations
    December 2008 – June 2012 (3 years 7 months)
    VoxPop Public Relations is a strategic public relations agency that helps individuals, companies and organizations accelerate their growth, profitability, reputation and market presence through media relations, product launches, new media, events and promotions, messaging and media training, and issues management.

    Vice President, Corporate Communications
    WellPoint
    December 2005 – December 2008 (3 years 1 month)
    Led communications team for the country’s largest health benefits company and provided communications support for the country’s highest ranking female chief executive officer. Responsible for enterprise-wide media relations, including investor relations.

    Director, Global Communications
    GE Healthcare
    2004 – 2006

    Director Global Public and Corporate Affairs
    Monsanto
    2001-2004

    Vice President of Corporate and Public Affairs
    Fleishman-Hillard (A professional PR firm, for those that don’t know)
    1998-2003

    Public Affairs Officer
    Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan,
    Missouri House of Representatives,
    Missouri Department of Economic Development.
    1993-1998

    And despite her claim to NPR that she “wasn’t really political” the FEC shows over $3,000 in donations to (D) candidates from January 2011 to June of 2012.

    So you can present her as something unique, but there are those of us more familiar with the machinery who will simply see her as another Donna Dees-Thomases, founder of the “million mom march”, similarly lauded as a “stay-at-home-mom” by the alphabet media with no mention of a career including TV reporter, staffer for 2 (D) senators, and being a paid publicist.

    The fact that you bill DDT as a “friend”, combined with the content of your posts, seems to indicate that you’re more fond of those seeking to take away our guns than preserving our rights, and that you bill yourself “The Gun guy” in the same way Vidkun Quisling billed himself as a proud Norwegian.

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