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Shannon Watts
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Shannon Watts is a 43-year-old mother of five children (two step-daughters, 25 and 20; two daughters, 18 and 17; and a 14-year-old son). Prior to founding Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Ms. Watts was a stay-at-home mom in a suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana. She had a 15-year career as a communications executive for both public relations agencies and Fortune 500 corporations. Ms. Watts was not an activist or involved in gun issues prior to the shootings at Sandy Hook on Dec. 14, 2012. The day after the tragedy, she started a Facebook page for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. That online conversation turned into an offline grassroots movement of American mothers fighting for public safety measures that respect the Second Amendment and protect people from gun violence. Moms Demand Action has established a chapter in every state of the country and along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than 2 million members and more than 38,000 donors.

Entries by Shannon Watts

No Panic Buttons for the Public: Why Open Carry Is Bad for America

(441) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 2:29 PM

It's official: the phrase "open carry" has entered the American lexicon. That's because gun extremists from Virginia to Washington to Texas and all across the country have started showing up in restaurants, state capitols, and other public places openly carrying loaded semiautomatic rifles. Occasionally donning kilts or

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When It Comes to Kids and Guns, There's No Such Thing as an "Accident"

(177) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 5:13 PM

"I'm sorry, Mom. I shot Corbin." Words no mom should ever hear. Words no child should ever utter. But that's exactly what happened in Elmo, Missouri, when a 5-year-old boy found his grandfather's loaded gun and unintentionally shot his 9-month-old baby brother in the head, killing him.

From toddlers in...

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Newtown -- Two Years Later

(65) Comments | Posted December 14, 2014 | 3:42 PM

Today marks two years since the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that killed 20 first graders and six educators. Sadly, Sandy Hook was not the last shooting to impact our schools... far from it.

According to an updated report by Everytown for Gun Safety and...

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The Message Kroger Doesn't Want You to Hear

(574) Comments | Posted December 14, 2014 | 10:58 AM

For months, Moms have called on Kroger to make a safer and more family-friendly shopping environment by prohibiting the open carry of firearms in its stores, just as brands including Target, Starbucks, and Panera have done.

Instead of meeting with us and reconsidering an irresponsible policy,...

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An Open Letter to Jay Leno

(89) Comments | Posted November 21, 2014 | 5:04 PM

Dear Jay Leno:

I realize you may still be smarting a bit from our #JokesOnLeno campaign on Twitter, so I wanted to explain why it was so important for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to ask you not to host an event for an extremist, radicalized gun...

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Moms Have Arrived as a Political Force in Gun Policy Debate

(96) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 3:26 PM

I founded Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America two years ago with a simple hypothesis in mind: if mothers could come together to channel our voices and talents into a coherent and organized movement for gun sense, we could bring about meaningful policy changes and help save lives....

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The Message Kroger Doesn't Want You to Hear

(987) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 9:29 AM

For months, Moms have called on Kroger to make a safer and more family-friendly shopping environment by prohibiting the open carry of firearms in its stores, just as brands including Target, Starbucks, and Panera have done.

Instead of meeting with us and reconsidering an irresponsible policy, Kroger's...

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Hitting the Road for Gun Sense

(8) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 4:01 PM

Every day there's a new story about the gun violence that's ravaging American families, from the recent murder-suicide by a Florida a grandfather with a prior criminal record that should have prohibited him from possessing firearms who killed his six grandchildren and daughter, to two school...

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American Moms Aren't Buying What the NRA Is Selling

(232) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 11:29 AM

The National Rifle Association is in a quandary. The organization's leadership, which is sullied by a long history of sexism and misogyny, must continue to grow its market for guns in order to protect gun manufacturers' profits. Over the past decade, more guns have been sold...

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Moms Across America Call on Kroger to Protect Our Children

(272) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 11:14 AM

When Moms Demand Action announced Monday that we were launching a petition to the Kroger Family of Stores to prohibit the open carry of guns in its supermarkets in response to incidences of gun violence as well as open carry demonstrations that have brought gunmen with...

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View the Facts: All Moms Should Support Bill to Protect Victims From Gun Violence

(71) Comments | Posted July 29, 2014 | 7:05 PM

You might have seen it Tuesday morning on The View: the hosts discussed a new TV ad Everytown for Gun Safety released a day before the U.S. Senate holds the first-ever hearing on guns and violence against women. The ad calls on members of Congress to

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With More Kids Playing at Home During Summer, Gun Safety Must Be a Top Priority

(2) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 4:43 PM

School's out for summer, and kids and parents everywhere are ready for barbecues, beach trips, and Fourth of July fireworks. Summer also means more time spent playing at home. As more than two million American children live in homes with unsecured guns, this summer Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense...

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Why Aren't We Doing More to Keep Women Safe From Gun Violence?

(10) Comments | Posted June 2, 2014 | 5:19 PM

The tragic shooting in Santa Barbara last week sparked an important conversation: why aren't we doing more to keep women safe?

For too long, women have been left out of the discussion about gun violence. We're 54 percent of the electorate, but only 19 percent of Congress. We account...

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American Moms One Year After Newtown: No More Silence About Gun Violence

(34) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 10:54 AM

Over the past year, I've introduced myself across the country again and again as an Indiana mom of five children who became an accidental activist on December 14, 2012. In just one year, what started out as a Facebook page put up the day after the tragic mass shooting in...

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The Tragic Story of Donald Maiden Jr.: An American Tale of Gun Violence

(160) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 2:50 PM

On Sept. 3, just a few days after Donald Maiden Jr.'s 8th birthday, he was playing tag outside his apartment building when a 46-year-old stranger walked up and shot him in the face. When police asked accused Brian Cloninger, who is white, why he shot Donald, who is...

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Gun Reform Is Dead; Long Live Gun Reform

(125) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 3:03 PM

Just hours after 13 Americans were shot and killed on a military base in our nation's capital, reporters and pundits began speculating that gun reform was dead. Headlines across the country, including the Chicago Tribune and Washington Post, could be summarized as: "No One Cares Anymore. Gun Reform...

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American Moms to Starbucks and CEO Howard Schultz: Ban Guns From Stores

(615) Comments | Posted August 16, 2013 | 11:58 AM

In the weeks since Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America launched our petition calling on Starbucks to change its policy of allowing guns in its stores, we have been both encouraged and dismayed -- encouraged by the outpouring of support from moms and others in communities...

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American Moms Honor the Victims of the Aurora Mass Shooting One Year Later

(2) Comments | Posted July 19, 2013 | 5:46 PM

It was just a year ago that my son, Sam, became afraid of going to the movies. Ever since I can remember, it was a place that he loved, a place of adventure and wonder, and yet after the mass shooting at a screening of Batman in Aurora on July...

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Game Over: Tell the Gun Lobby to Stop Selling Guns to Our Kids Through Video Games

(3) Comments | Posted June 12, 2013 | 3:45 PM

After each mass shooting in America, so-called "experts" -- usually the leadership of the National Rifle Association, gun lobbyists, or sympathetic politicians -- wag an accusing finger at the video game industry. And the video game industry invariably pushes back, pointing to numerous studies showing no meaningful link...

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Keep Your Flowers on Mother's Day, I Want My Rights

(41) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 3:30 PM

This Mother's Day, eight American mothers will wake up having lost a child to gun violence the day before. Another eight mothers will go to bed having lost their children to gun violence on Mother's Day.

This American epidemic, which has become a public health crisis, goes unaddressed by...

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