RICHMOND, Va. — Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action released the following statements in response to the gun extremist rally in Richmond, Virginia. Today, more than 100 Moms Demand Action volunteers from Virginia and 24 other states made at least 2,300 calls to thank Virginia lawmakers for their dedication to gun safety and encourage them to continue passing common-sense legislation.
“What we saw today was not activism — it was extremism fueled by misinformation and fear,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Armed insurrectionists who threaten violence and lawlessness if they don’t get their way don’t represent the majority of Virginians who overwhelmingly voted for gun sense in November.”
“We’re not afraid of these extremists, but mothers are afraid of losing their children,” said Robyn Sordelett, a gun owner and volunteer with the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Those at the rally in Richmond today do not represent the views of responsible gun owners — in fact, they stand for the polar opposite. Common sense gun laws don’t impede anyone’s constitutional rights. They save lives.”
“The gun violence that cuts short the lives of thousands Virginians every year is a public health crisis, but more importantly, it’s preventable,” said Lisette Johnson, a Richmond resident and member of the Everytown Survivor Network who was shot multiple times by her husband on October 6, 2009, in their home. “There are more of us that want to see an end to senseless shootings in this country than those who turned out today in Richmond.”
BACKGROUND: Today, gun extremists — including out-of-state militia groups and far-right leaders involved in the deadly ‘Unite the Right’ rally — descended on the Virginia General Assembly, hoping to intimidate lawmakers into rejecting the democratic will of the people who, by wide margins, voted to flip Virginia’s General Assembly to a gun sense majority for the purpose of passing common-sense gun safety laws.