Sisterhood Blog

Moms Demand Gun Control Legislation

By Renee Ghert-Zand

  • Print
  • Share Share
Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images
Protestors demonstrate at the March on Washington for Gun Control on January 26, 2013.

Before December 14, 2012, Sara Smith Smirin, who lives in California’s Silicon Valley, had no plans to fly the next month to Washington, D.C. However, the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that day induced her to make the trip to the nation’s capital on January 24 to witness Senator Dianne Feinstein of California introduce the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, a bill to stop the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices.

Smirin, Director of Marketing for Jewish LearningWorks in San Francisco, was in Washington as a representative of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America, a grassroots organization that sprang up and into action at lightning speed following Sandy Hook. After initially connecting with other moms in her community to establish a local chapter of the organization, Smirin quickly assumed a leadership role on the national level.

“It started with a bunch of moms talking to one another and saying they were not going to take it anymore,” Smirin, who has two young sons, told The Sisterhood by phone. The movement, which began as a Facebook group created by a woman named Shannon Watts in Indianapolis, has gone viral, amassing almost 100,000 supporters in just two months.

This past week has been the busiest yet for the movement. The organization designated five days as “Moms Demand Action Week,” and urged members to flood the offices of their elected representatives (by email and social media, and in person) with demands for “common sense gun legislation,” as Smirin put it. “We’re a non-partisan, inclusive organization. We understand that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear arms. We’re not about taking away gun rights.”

This week, the organization rebranded itself, changing its name from One Million Moms For Gun Control, and it also launched its own “Demand A Plan” video. The video, in which Smirin appears at the 45-second mark, joins many others in a campaign started by Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Smirin said she is driven this time, as she has been in the past, to “work on causes to better our lives.” Smirin supposes this might stem from her Jewish upbringing. “It could be a tikkun olam thing, but it’s really just who I am.”

She did share that in regard to gun control issues, she has been inspired by another Jewish mother. “Veronique Pozner [mother of 6-year-old Sandy Hook victim Noah Pozner] is an inspiration because she is willing to speak publicly and vocally about her grief, and about her struggles with her grief. And in doing so, every time she does so, she is a reminder of parents everywhere who wake up every day with an infinitely deep child-sized hole in their lives,” Smirin said. “She reminds us that no parent in Oakland or Chicago or South Central L.A. or Newtown — or in any other part of this country — should have to worry about their child being taken by inexplicable, unnecessary gun violence.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: veronique pozner, gun control, Sisterhood, Jewish Women

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • Sigal Samuel's family amulet isn't just rumored to have magical powers. It's also a symbol of how Jewish and Indian rituals became intertwined over the centuries. http://jd.fo/a3BvD Only three days left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.