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Volunteer Stories

Moms Demand Action volunteers reflect on Congress passing the first major gun safety law in nearly 26 years

When 26 children and educators were killed in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT in 2012, people across America had enough. Mothers were scared for their children, survivors of gun violence were outraged, and everyday people were ready to fight for changes that would save lives. When Shannon Watts started a Facebook group for outraged people across the country the day after the devastating shooting, Moms Demand Action was born. Nearly 10 years of advocacy and hard work from volunteers later, Congress just passed its first meaningful gun safety law in nearly 26 years with the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

“When I started Moms Demand Action, I really did think very naively that we would pass federal level legislation within weeks or months… 10 years later, I understand that Congress isn’t necessarily where this work begins.”

—Shannon Watts, Founder of Moms Demand Action

This win isn’t just about the policy. It’s personal for the gun violence survivors and the volunteers who have fought for this moment—who in the wake of tragedy, have gotten up and fought harder and longer to be on the right side of history. Congress passing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is a victory carried by volunteers who have worked tirelessly to influence positive change in this country—in their communities, schools, corporations, and now even in Congress.

This is a huge win for the gun violence prevention movement, but the work doesn’t stop here. Seven Moms Demand Action volunteers share their journey to this victory—and where we go from here. 

“Victory to me, after working tirelessly in this movement, is a good night’s sleep, a sigh of relief. After the sleep, the sigh, we will continue to do the work, will move forward knowing another important obstacle has been overcome.”

“This work has never been about one moment or one action. We will keep building the movement and only look back to measure how far we have come.”

  • —Michele Mueller, Ohio Moms Demand Action Onboarding Lead and National Chapter Liaison for GSAN

“Change is coming! We will not stand by and continue to watch our loved ones sacrificed on the altars of greed, politics, and inhumanity. We are Moms! We will always fight! We will win!”

  • —Melody Geddis McFadden, Veteran, Survivor, and South Carolina Moms Demand Action Volunteer

“The entire movement is doing great things even though sometimes it seems like we are fighting an uphill battle. This victory was hard won, and I am ready to continue fighting.”

“I know that nothing worthwhile comes easily. We fought hard for this victory, and I’m willing to continue the fight.”

“I’ve never felt prouder to be in this organization than now because of all the things we’ve been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time with the help of so many people.… I’m hopeful for the future because this movement is only getting stronger as more people get involved.”

  • —Alex Navarro, California Moms Demand Action Statewide City Gun Violence Prevention Lead

Norri Leder smiles while holding a dog and wearing a Moms Demand Action shirt with another volunteer

“Passing this bill doesn’t mean our work is done, but it does mean we’ve started to really turn the ship in the right direction.”

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