Watch: Gun Reform Advocates Beg Obama to “Take Some Leadership”

Hours after a gunman slaughters 27 in Newtown, Connecticut, advocates gather at White House to say the time has come for sensible gun laws.

A group of gun violence prevention advocates happend to be visiting Washington, D.C. the morning of the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school shooting. They were attending a training session at the New Organizing Institute (NOI) when news of the mass shooting began streaming in. At about 1:30PM EST the group decided they would organize a vigil in front of the White House.

They began connecting with progressive organizations such as CREDO, MoveOn, and Moms Rising to encourage others to join them in urging President Obama to do something about gun violence in this country. At around 4:30PM EST, shortly after the President’s emotional address on the shooting, the group had assembled approximately 100 people in front of the White House.

Andy Pelosi (no relation to the former Speaker of the House) was one of the organizers-in-training. He lives about 20 minutes from Newtown and has two elementary school-age daughters. Standing in front of the White House he told reporters, “We’re always told, ‘Just wait, just wait, tomorrow’s the day to talk about it’.” Apparently the White House was listening. John Carson, the White House Director of the Office of Public Engagement, came out to talk with attendees about their concerns and requests.

Also in attendence were Barbara Elsas, a pre-school teacher, and Linda Finkel-Talvadkar, a retired principal. Since July 30, a few days after the mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theather, they’ve spent every Monday morning walking up and down Pennsylvania Avenue holding signs and talking to visitors about gun violence. We were also pleased to learn that they find Mother Jones’ timeline of mass shootings useful. “We set this timeline out on the sidewalk and people from all over the world and all over the United States stop and look at that timeline,” Finkel-Talvadkar said.

Nationwide action continues today, as organizations such as MoveOn, are calling for candlelight vigils to end gun violence. Evan Sutton of NOI told Mother Jones, “Expect more direct action in the next couple of days. On Capitol Hill and the D.C. NRA offices.” 

Here’s a summary of our mass shooting reporting:

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest