Buku Fight Like a Mother: How a Grassroots Movement Took on the Gun Lobby and Why Women Will Change the World by Shannon Watts
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Fight Like a Mother: How a Grassroots Movement Took on the Gun Lobby and Why Women Will Change the World by Shannon Watts

Author:Shannon Watts

Language: eng

Format: epub

Publisher: HarperOne

Published: 2019-05-27T23:00:00+00:00

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Fight Like a Mother: How a Grassroots Movement Took on the Gun Lobby and Why Women Will Change the World by Shannon Watts

7

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On February 1, 2018, state representative Robert Byrd from the very red state of Tennessee introduced a bill that would allow teachers and school staff to carry a concealed weapon on school premises.

 

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Fight Like a Mother: How a Grassroots Movement Took on the Gun Lobby and Why Women Will Change the World by Shannon Watts

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Fight Like a Mother: How a Grassroots Movement Took on the Gun Lobby and Why Women Will Change the World by Shannon Watts

Author:Shannon Watts , Date: July 4, 2019

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Author:Shannon Watts

Language: eng

Format: epub

Publisher: HarperOne

Published: 2019-05-27T23:00:00+00:00
7

Be Seen

On February 1, 2018, state representative Robert Byrd from the very red state of Tennessee introduced a bill that would allow teachers and school staff to carry a concealed weapon on school premises.

Nashville Moms Demand Action volunteers were having none of it.

When they found out that the bill would be heard by the House Civil Justice Committee on February 14, they made a plan to show up at the statehouse wearing their red T-shirts to testify against the bill. About ninety volunteers attended. While the committee was in session, the news broke that a school shooting was simultaneously happening in Parkland, Florida. In the wake of the horrendous news, the committee members decided to wait to vote on the bill until the next committee meeting; Moms Demand Action volunteers channeled their grief and anger over the shooting into fuel for the next round.

The Tennessee chapter leads then planned a big advocacy day for March 7, where six hundred Moms Demand Action volunteers showed up at the statehouse to meet with legislators—although the Civil Justice Committee opted not to convene that day. It ended up meeting on March 20, instead, a day for which we had not coordinated a large contingent to be on hand. At that meeting, members voted to pass the bill along to the next committee that needed to review it—the Education Administration and Planning Committee. “We were really nervous when we saw how easily the bill made it out of that [first] committee,” recalls Kristi Cornett, one of the chapter leads. The Tennessee team knew they would have to up their game.

As soon as they found out the date of the next committee meeting, “We put out a call to volunteers from all over the state and basically begged them to attend—we had people who left their houses at 4 a.m. to make it to the statehouse on time,” Kristi says. On that April day, forty Moms Demand Action volunteers packed the hearing room. The whole left side of the room was a sea of red shirts—some supporters even had to wait outside in the hall because of fire code restrictions.

The mostly Republican (male) lawmakers who sat on that committee were clearly taken aback; as they looked out at the crowd with wide eyes, Kristi says you could almost hear their hard swallows of surprise. Even though the numbers were clearly on the side of Moms Demand Action—there were only two NRA representatives in attendance—the volunteers were still nervous.

“Heading in, we really didn’t think we had the votes we needed,” Kristi said. Yet they did, when three Republican lawmakers changed their minds and voted to kill the bill. The final vote was seven to five.

To be clear, Tennessee volunteers had made hundreds of phone calls to those legislators too, and they had already shown up en masse twice before—once for the Civil Justice Committee meeting and another time for the advocacy day. But something about having all those red shirts in the room on the day of the vote changed the outcome.

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