Million Mom March

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Demonstrator with sign
Demonstrators at the march
Tipper Gore at the march

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 to call for stricter gun control.[1] The march reportedly drew an estimated attendance of 500,000 to 750,000 people at the D.C. location, however, "The Park Police estimated turnout for that event at 300,000."[2] Including 150,000 to 200,000 people[citation needed] holding satellite events in more than 70 cities across the country, the total number of participants was about one million.[3][4]

A counter-rally by the pro-firearm Second Amendment Sisters, was also held on the same day and drew approximately 2,500 people.[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 from the New York metropolitan area held a news conference in Manhattan, where they announced their intent to march in 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 pro-gun control group Bell Campaign.[8] In 2001 the Million Mom March organization merged with the Brady Campaign.[9][10][11]

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 Clinton in a show of support for stricter gun laws.[12] Turnouts to the second Washington march and to further marches were diminished, with the 2001 march on Washington reporting about 200 in attendance.[13][14] The group did not plan demonstrations in Washington in 2002 or 2003, instead focusing its efforts in the states.[15]


Gun rights advocates have routinely challenged the Million Mom March on its use of statistics on child gun casualties[16][17] with individuals and organizations on both sides of the gun debate either verifying or criticizing the group's data.[18][19] In 2004, Wendy McElroy estimated that only 5,732 children under the age of 17 died in gun related deaths, "or roughly 40 percent of what MMM asserts."[20]

An investigation by The New York Times reported that the incidence of accidental child firearm deaths occur "roughly twice as often as the records indicate" due to idiosyncrasies in how authorities in various states classify these incidents.[21] The report also asserted that the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups utilize the lower statistics in order to lobby against more restrictive gun laws.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dionne, E.J. (May 16, 2000). "Because they say so". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  2. ^ Kelly, Jack (May 21, 2000). "A muddled mom march". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Opinion). Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  3. ^ Gibson, Megan (August 12, 2011). "The Million Mom March". Time. Archived from the original on August 13, 2011. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Minnesotans Joined and Estimated 750,000 in Washington, D.C., on Mother's Day to Draw Attentionto Gun Violence". St. Paul Pioneer Press. May 15, 2000. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  5. ^ "Opposing Women Gird For Million Mom March". Reading Eagle. May 14, 2000. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  6. ^ Goodman, Ellen (May 5, 2000). "Idealism fuels Million Mom March". Deseret News. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  7. ^ James, George (October 31, 1999). "Politics and Government; Mothers Hope They're One in a Million". New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  8. ^ Deam, Jenny (September 5, 2000). "Million Mom March modeled after MADD". Denver Post. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  9. ^ Fuoco, Linda Wilson (July 24, 2002). "What happened to Million Mom chapter?". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  10. ^ "About Us: Million Mom March". Brady Campaign. 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  11. ^ "A Decade Later, Million Mom March Endures As a Force to Save Lives". Common Dreams (Press release). May 6, 2010.
  12. ^ Nagourney, Adam (May 10, 2000). "Mrs. Clinton Backs Gun-Control Initiatives". New York Times. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  13. ^ "Reprise by anti-gun moms falls far short". Washington Times. May 14, 2001. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  14. ^ Payne, Elizabeth Anne (2011). Writing Women's History. University Press of Mississippi. pp. 172–195. ISBN 978-1617031731.
  15. ^ "Million Mom March comes up a bit short". Star Tribune. March 16, 2005. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Dueling Statistics on Gun Control, Both Sides Misfire". San Jose Mercury News (Editorial). May 21, 2000. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  17. ^ "Moms to march on misinformation". Washington Times. May 7, 2000. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  18. ^ "Ignores the Evidence". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 31, 2000. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  19. ^ Paulson, Amy (May 8, 2000). "'Million Mom March' organizers hope to spur congressional action on gun legislation". CNN. Archived from the original on August 18, 2000. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  20. ^ McElroy, Wendy (March 3, 2004). "Do Gun Control Activists Pad Gun Death Statistics?". Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  21. ^ a b Luo, Michael; McIntire, Mike (September 28, 2013). "Children and Guns: The Hidden Toll". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 September 2013.

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