Moms Demand Action had a Rally on April 13th, 2023 outside the City Hall in Fargo, ND. It wasn’t much of a rally because only ~25 protesters showed up but they are misinforming the public so I wanted to go over the facts. The interview was done by Ty Schonert from WDAY Radio. Below you will find the audio file. I transcribed the audio to text (which you will also find below) so that I could add my comments.
2023-04-13 Moms Demand Action Rally
Ty Schonert: [00:00:00] What happened today? Why are we all standing outside of Fargo City Hall right now?
Moms Demand Action: Yeah, about a week ago there was a shooting in a school in Nashville, and uh, the students rose up and said, this is enough, and they walked out to make a point and we all gathered around the country as local groups to say, yes, this is enough, and we have your backs.
Ty Schonert: Very passionate speaking here today. Uh, poems were sent or were spoke out. Uh, we had songs declared as well. We all had two very impassionate speakers themselves, um, with you included as well by the way, talk to me about some of the feelings you had while you were here and then we can get into more serious stuff as well along that as well.
Moms Demand Action: I always cry when I talk about this because, um, little kids are dying and people who have moments of crisis are dying because we won’t take the, the tiny little steps of inconvenience that it might take and sometimes it’s not even inconvenient to lock up our guns and make sure that people who shouldn’t have them don’t.
Jason (ND Gun Rights): Since the conversation started out mentioning the Nashville shooting, locking up the attackers gun would not have prevented the shooting. All gun owners should take personal responsibility and keep their guns locked when needed. Having mandatory laws to keep guns locked would be almost impossible to enforce because of the fourth amendment. Every individual has different needs and not all gun owners have children. Some firearms are used for home defense and you will not have time to unlock your firearm when your house is being broken into.
Ty Schonert: And you talked about North Dakota having a lot of problems when it comes to stalling legislation on this or not thinking [00:01:00] about or considering legislation. What was your exact critique? So, so I can hit it correctly.
Moms Demand Action: Sure. Um, our lawmakers continue to try and allow more people to have guns in more places to lower the age at which you can get guns, and they’ve even tried to take away any sort of permitting so that anyone can have a gun anywhere regardless.
Jason (ND Gun Rights): States that have higher gun ownership have seen the largest decrease in violent crime. Restricting access only affects law abiding citizens. Criminals will continue to carry firearms in restricted places because they are criminals. Also, North Dakota does not have mass shooting issues.
Ty Schonert: And that, that impacts, uh, obviously school shootings because, and I wanna hear you say that as well.
Moms Demand Action: Yeah, so three out of every four school shooters gets their gun at home and so if those guns were locked up, 75% of the people who died in school would still be alive.
Jason (ND Gun Rights): The study that Moms Demand Action is quoting is from the Secret Service which also states that “While many of the firearms were unsecured, in several cases the attackers were able to gain access to firearms that were secured in a locked gun safe or case. It should be further noted, however, that some attackers used knives instead of firearms to perpetrate their attacks“. To say that 75% of students would still be alive is a lie. Also in the same study, it was found that attackers have experienced psychological, behavioral, and developmental symptoms. Schools, parents, and law enforcement need to work together to get the child help. Most attackers have experienced negative home life factors so we cannot depend on their parents and guardians to keep their firearms locked up. Schools need to be prepared if such an event were to happen.
Ty Schonert: So I wanna, I’m gonna address the opponent’s side for a second.
The opponent’s your movement. So, because I didn’t hear any counter protestors here today at least, but I still want you to address them.
Moms Demand Action: Sure.
Ty Schonert: So talk about some of the facts on their side in, in terms of they think that Pro-Second Amendment is still a huge thing. They want to keep that important part of this committee, North Dakota specifically, why should this proceed overlap as well?
Moms Demand Action: So let me be very clear. Mom’s demand Action has no beef with the Second [00:02:00] Amendment. We have not ever had a conversation about removing or altering the Second Amendment. Um, people can have their guns and use them for the sports activities that they use them for and still have common sense gun laws, like making sure everybody gets a background check. Um, in order for us all to stay alive, we, we don’t have to have one or the other.
Jason (ND Gun Rights): To purchase a firearm, background checks are already done prior to sale of a firearm. Criminals do not follow gun laws because they are criminals. You only restrict law abiding citizens that could possibly stop a threat.
Ty Schonert: And I, the reason why I didn’t bring that up at all is because it is in a very I prominent discussion that happens, especially on North Dakota side. On the Minnesota side, though, it sounds like you have a little more appreciation for Rob Kupec. It sounded like you sounded in your speech, it sounded like you had a little more appreciation for what he was saying.
Moms Demand Action: Uh, so Rob has been supportive of the work that we do. He’s, um, he’s, he’s the senator who we, they, they now want, uh, to vote for the omnibus bill and, and if he does, Um, they have potential to push that over the line so that they will have, uh, red flag laws and an and increased background checks, which are proven to save lives.
Ty Schonert: And those policy positions you talked about, I wanna [00:03:00] make that very clear because when people talk about, um, restricting gun access or restricting gun use in general, that was one of the critiques I was asked to talk to you about. So, what are those specific policies we’re talking about? We spent locking up guns and making sure that they’re locked up. What’s some other ones have?
Moms Demand Action: So I, I, I just don’t think it’s a stretch to think that a person who has a background of violent behavior and been convicted of violent behavior should have access to a, a weapon that they could violently use to shoot people. Mm-hmm. Um, there are reasons why we regulate certain behaviors.
Um, a person who has had too many DUIs doesn’t still get to drive. Um, a person who has a demonstrated, uh, behavior toward using a firearm shouldn’t be given one. Um, those are regulations, not so much a lack of access. We don’t, anybody who’s a, who’s just going to use their gun for safe and reasonable purposes. We have no issue with that.
Jason (ND Gun Rights): A person who has had too many DUIs obviously doesn’t follow the law and if they already do not follow the law, what makes you think they aren’t going to drive? Background checks are already performed during the sale of Firearms. When purchasing a firearm, you fill out ATF form 4473. On this form there are questions about domestic violence and being a convicted felon.
Ty Schonert: All right. I do wanna talk about [00:04:00] some of the speeches that happened tonight cuz they’re very passionate speeches. One of them specifically was a teacher in the region who was talking about how some of the active shoot, the active drills they had to go through, and I saw, I saw you from several feet back. You had tears running down your face. What were the thoughts you had in your mind going through that?
Moms Demand Action: I, I know about active shooter drills, or at least I know they happen. Um, I, I didn’t know what was said in those, and it, it hurts my heart that our kids have to think that they have to be quiet in order to be safe, or they have to worry that their teacher might die in this process. This is just not things kids should have to deal with.
Jason (ND Gun Rights): Safety drills are a good thing as it is about being prepared. Some of the safety drills you will find in schools are tornado drills, fire drills, and active shooter drills. It would be unfortunate for any one of these events to occur but it is all about being prepared. To say kids should not have to deal with active shooter drills is not responsible.
Ty Schonert: As a person who grew up in this region, um, I also went through active shooter drills, and I am, I’m aware of what they look like and kind of how they, how they work, but it’s interesting kind of hearing other people’s perspectives and how that looks from, and it sounds like this is a new phenomenon. This isn’t something that’s happened a hundred years ago or 50 years ago even. Sounds like.
Jason (ND Gun Rights): Students used to bring their guns to school 50 years ago and there were no mass shootings then.
Moms Demand Action: you know, I, I, I think active shooter drills have been going on [00:05:00]longer than I really thought. I think it’s probably been about 20 years now. Um, that probably since Columbine that we started doing that.
Um, and again, the other thing, lots of kids go through active shooter drills and they come out okay. They brush it off, they see it as a, you know, a thing. Like, should our kids have to be responsible for, for fighting off a shooter? I mean, I just, that seems, it just seems wrong to me that we put that on the backs of our kids when we know that there are other things we can do that wouldn’t force them to go through that.
Jason (ND Gun Rights): Kids also go through tornado and fire drills and they come out okay as well. I’m not sure why Moms Demand Action is not for safety drills in schools. Being prepared is better than not being prepared at all. What if there was a fire in the school? Is it too much to teach kids how to stop drop and roll, or possibly use a fire extinguisher, or follow an exit strategy?
Ty Schonert: And is that the lesson here today for people who didn’t attend, for people who didn’t attend and were at home, or are gonna hear this on, on there tomorrow? Yeah. Um, what is that lesson that you want people to take away from this conversation?
Moms Demand Action: Um, I want them to reach into their hearts and think, should we make our kids do that?
Is there some other way that we can prevent that? And I will tell them that there are, and if they wanna talk about it, they can call or they can look up the [00:06:00] data at everytownresearch.org. Um, And I also want them to just talk about what it means to have a loaded firearm in your house that’s readily accessible to a child who might simply be curious or to a mo, a person who has that moment of crisis that just where life feels bad and they can’t see past it and they decide to get that gun out and, and make that moment go away 95% of the time, they won’t live to see tomorrow. There is good data to show that background checks and red flag laws save lives. They prevent people from dying from gun violence. Facts are often a hard thing to be persuasive with. Right? This is an emotional argument.
Mm-hmm. Um, so when we talk about normalizing the conversation around gun violence, um, what I’m getting at, and this is a a one of the main tenets of Moms Demand Action is that we, um, want to bring the culture into this and let’s start from the idea, right, that no one should die from a a from gun violence. I, [00:07:00] is anybody gonna fight with me on that? I, I don’t really think so. So, okay. If we don’t want people to die from gun violence, then, then let’s talk about how we do that and let’s try and find common ground in places where we can and enact little steps, one at a time to make us safer.
Ty Schonert: And I imagine there’s been a lot of pushback in various places, but also a lot of agreements, certain places too. Can you describe both of those if you can.
Moms Demand Action: Well, obviously in Minnesota they are finding some agreement around the idea, or at least a majority of people are, right? Mm-hmm. Um, that, uh, that they can pass common sense gun laws without it infringing on other people’s freedom and safety and rights. Um, nine, something like 80% of Americans are in favor of common sense gun laws.
Um, the American people are on the side of what we’re talking about. There is a minority that don’t agree with that, but we live in a country where the majority gets to decide, right? It’s our lawmakers who are out of step with the American public.
Jason (ND Gun Rights): The term “common sense gun laws” is a loose term it is an easy way to get the percentage to fit your narrative. The fact of the matter is that a majority of Americans support allowing law-abiding citizens to carry firearms for personal protection outside their home and seventy-two percent favor stricter sentences for criminals verses more gun laws. Red flag laws can be abused and you are removing someone’s second amendment right without due process. This means that red flag laws can infringe on peoples rights.
Ty Schonert: And so you had a call to action at the end of your speech here, and for people who are listening who are interested in learning [00:08:00] more, where can they go?
Moms Demand Action: Yeah, they can text Act a c t. To 6 4, 4 3 3. Or they can download an app called Demand Action and find out all kinds of events and activities, places where they can continue this conversation.
Ty Schonert: Thank you for speaking with me on this conversation as well. I appreciate that.
Moms Demand Action: You’re welcome. Thank you.