Million Mom March

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The Million Mom March was a rally held on Mother's Day, May 14, 2000 in the Washington D.C. National Mall by the Million Mom March organization in order to promote tighter gun control.[1] The march reportedly drew an estimated attendance of 750,000 people at the D.C. location, but with 150,000 to 200,000 people holding satellite events in more than 70 cities across the country,[2] the total number of participants was about a million.[3][4]

A counter-rally by the pro-firearm Second Amendment Sisters, was also held on the same day.[5]


The Million Mom March began as a grassroots movement sparked by Donna Dees-Thomases after she viewed broadcast coverage of the Los Angeles Jewish Community Center shooting in Granada Hills, California.[6] In October 1999 she and several Tri-State activists held a news conference in Manhattan, where they announced their intent to march on Washington.[7] The march was held on May 14, 2000 to coincide with Mother's Day, with the organization reporting a turnout of 750,000 supporters.[4] Following the event the organization became chapter-based and merged with the victim-led anti-gun violence group Bell Campaign.[8] In 2002 the Million Mom March organization merged with the Brady Campaign.[9][10]

On the anniversary of the first march, more than 100 rallies were held across the nation calling for stricter gun laws at the state level. In New York, Republican Governor George Pataki joined Democratic U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in a show of bipartisan support for stricter gun laws.[11]

On the state level, Million Mom March Chapters have had numerous successes in passing stricter gun laws.[12] In 2001, the New Jersey Million Mom March Chapters helped pass groundbreaking legislation to require all new handguns to have childproof safety features. In 2005, the Illinois Million Mom March Chapters helped to pass legislation to make private sales of firearms without a background check illegal in that state. Following the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, Chapter leaders in eight states (Minnesota, Texas, New York, Washington, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina) successfully pushed for measures ensuring that mental health records be uploaded to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System so that background checks would bar persons who had been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility from purchasing firearms. In California, chapters helped pass new gun laws including a ban on .50 caliber rifles, requiring all new semi-automatic handguns to have "microstamping" technology, and helped pass legislation requiring handgun ammunition vendors to keep purchaser records.[12]


Second Amendment activists have routinely challenged the Million Mom March on its use of statistics on child gun casualties[13][14] with individuals and organizations on both sides of the gun debate either verifying or criticizing the group's data.[15][16] The American Thinker, a conservative online daily, charged that the group's estimate of the number of children who die in handgun related incidents every day was greatly exaggerated.[17] Fox News reported[citation needed] that in 2001, only 5,732 children under the age of 17 died in gun related deaths, which the network claimed stated was "roughly 40 percent of what MMM asserts."[citation needed]

An investigation by The New York Times reported that the incidence of child firearm deaths occur "roughly twice as often as the records indicate" due to idiosyncrasies in how authorities in various states classify these incidents.[18] The report also asserted that the National Rifle Association and other Second Amendment groups utilize the lower statistics in order to lobby against stronger gun laws.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Because they say so". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 16, 2000. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "A MUDDLED MOM MARCH". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 21, 2000. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "A Brief History of Women's Protests". Time. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "MINNESOTANS JOINED AN ESTIMATED 750,000 IN WASHINGTON, D.C., ON MOTHER'S DAY TO DRAW ATTENTION TO GUN VIOLENCE.". St. Paul Pioneer Press. May 15, 2000. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "Opposing Women Gird For Million Mom March". Reading Eagle. May 14, 2000. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Idealism fuels Million Mom March". Deseret News. May 5, 2000. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  7. ^ James, George (October 31, 1999). "POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT; Mothers Hope They're One in a Million". New York Times. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Million Mom March modeled after MADD". Denver Post. September 5, 2000. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "What happened to Million Mom chapter?". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Jul 24, 2002. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "About Us". Brady Campaign. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "About Us". Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "A Decade Later, Million Mom March Endures As a Force to Save Lives". Common Dreams. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  13. ^ "DUELING STATISTICS ON GUN CONTROL, BOTH SIDES MISFIRE". San Jose Mercury News. May 21, 2000. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "Moms to march on misinformation". Washington Times. May 7, 2000. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  15. ^ "IGNORES THE EVIDENCE". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 31, 2000. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  16. ^ Paulso, Amy (8 May 2000). "Million Mom March organizers hope to spur congressional action on gun legislation". CNN. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Why Does the Anti-Gun Camp Need to Lie?". American Thinker. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  18. ^ a b Luo, Michael; McIntire, Mike (September 28, 2013). "Children and Guns: The Hidden Toll". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 

External links[edit]