By: Teresa Mull
After the Parkland, Florida school shooting, the March for Our Lives (MFOL) movement – a group that uses children as pawns to promote its anti-gun agenda – was born. Now, the group is traveling the country, registering young people to vote.
The effort called Vote For Our Lives: Our Power in the States combines virtual rallies livestreamed on social media with on-the-ground art installations in nine cities around the country. Voter registration will happen both online and in-person "while staying safe and socially distant," the group notes.
The first stop is Miami on Monday, August 24, followed by Atlanta, Philadelphia, Houston, Phoenix, Detroit, Denver, Milwaukee and Raleigh, North Carolina, over the next six weeks -- all cities in key battleground states this fall.
Partners include Rock the Vote, Sunrise Movement, Voto Latino, International Indigenous Youth Council and NextGen America.
GPM has reported in the past on the murky funding source of March for Our Lives. The Washington Free Beacon reported that MFOL had “registered a 501(c)(4) nonprofit advocacy organization that is not required to disclose its donors.”
“[MFOL] decided to incorporate as a ‘social welfare’ organization, and a non-profit, but not a 501(c)(3), a designation which would have allowed those who donated to the March to claim their contributions as tax deductions, but which would have required the March itself to submit a list of their contributors to the IRS,” the Daily Wire reported at the time.
Even the notoriously liberal Huffington Post smelled a rat and “criticized the group for its lack of transparency and grassroots veneer, when structurally the March for Our Lives bears the hallmarks of professional activists,” InfluenceWatch.org reported.
“…There is little publicly available information about the March for Our Lives Action Fund or who’s running it,” HuffPo reported. “…As a 501(c)(4) group, March for Our Lives Action Fund is subject to few public disclosure requirements regarding donors or expenditures, meaning the Parkland students and the board aren’t obligated to be fully transparent.”
The MFOL website lists as the group’s specific policy goals six items:
1 CHANGE THE STANDARDS OF GUN OWNERSHIP
Advocate and pass legislation to raise the national standard for gun ownership: a national licensing and registry system that promotes responsible gun ownership; a ban on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and other weapons of war; policies to disarm gun owners who pose a risk to themselves or others; and a national gun buy-back program to reduce the estimated 265-393 million firearms in circulation by at least 30%.
2 HALVE THE RATE OF GUN DEATHS IN 10 YEARS
Mobilize an urgent and comprehensive federal response: declare a national emergency around gun violence and announce an audacious goal to reduce gun injuries and deaths by 50% in 10 years, thereby saving up to 200,000 American lives.
3 ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE GUN LOBBY AND INDUSTRY
Hold the gun lobby and industry accountable for decades of illegal behavior and misguided policies intended to shield only themselves; reexamine the District of Columbia v. Heller interpretation of the Second Amendment; initiate both FEC and IRS investigations into the NRA, and fully repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
4 NAME A DIRECTOR OF GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION
Appoint a National Director of Gun Violence Prevention (GVP) who reports directly to the President, with the mandate to operationalize our federal goals and empower existing federal agencies such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – agencies that have all been structurally weakened by the gun lobby. The National Director of GVP would begin by overseeing a down payment of $250 million in annual funding for research by the CDC and other federal agencies on gun violence prevention.
5 GENERATE COMMUNITY-BASED SOLUTIONS
Fully fund targeted interventions addressing the intersectional dimensions of gun violence, including community-based urban violence reduction programs, suicide prevention programs, domestic violence prevention programs, mental and behavioral health service programs, and programs to address police violence in our communities.
6 EMPOWER THE NEXT GENERATION
Automatically register eligible voters and mail voter registration cards to all Americans when they turn 18. Create the “Safety Corps,” a Peace Corps for gun violence prevention. The younger generations are disproportionately affected by gun violence. They should have a say in how their country solves this epidemic.
Teresa Mull (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.