Why is a copy of Little Red Riding Hood more dangerous than a gun?
That’s the question asked by an ad released late Sunday night by pro gun control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America as part of their push this week to persuade lawmakers on the state and federal level to increase limits on firearms.
“One child is holding something that’s been banned in America to protect them,” the caption reads above two young girls. One girl is holding a copy of the childhood story and the other an assault weapon.
The ad is part of a series posted on Facebook juxtaposing gun laws with strict restrictions meant to protect children against things like banned books, the game dodgeball and Kinder Surprise Eggs – an Italian candy banned in the U.S. because of fears that children might swallow the small toys inside.
The book featured in one of their ads is a copy of Little Red Riding Hood banned in at least two California school districts because it shows a bottle of wine on the cover.
Mothers Demand Action founder Shannon Watts said the ads were shared directly from the group’s Facebook page more than 1,000 times by Monday afternoon.
“It’s this idea of juxtaposing the absurdity of what America is so worried about harming our children, yet we do not have an assault weapons ban. We have such lax gun laws in this country and yet we pretend to be so concerned about our children,” Watts told ABC News. “It’s easier for me to buy ammunition online, say a hundred rounds, than it is for me to go to CVS and buy Sudafed. This is absurd.”
The National Rifle Association’s plan for school safety recommends arming and training educators on school campuses. Several states have considered legislation requiring at least one employee to carry a firearm, but most of those bills have failed to find traction, according to the Associated Press.
Watts founded Mothers Demand Action on Facebook one day after the Sandy Hook massacre. In the four months since that time, the group has gained about 88,000 followers and expanded to its own site on the web.
Members of Mothers Demanding Action have also taken their cause off the Internet and into the halls of government with rallies like the ones Watt is planning this week.
Wednesday morning moms promoting gun control measures like an assault weapons ban and universal background checks will hold a “Stroller Jam” in front of the Capitol, where they will take their stroller-bound children with them to read a list of names of American gun violence victims. They plan to sponsor similar rallies in front of state government offices in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, New York and Arizona this week.
The idea for a stroller jam organically evolved when the moms involved noticed they were blocking hallways of state lawmakers’ offices with the children they kept in tow.
“It was really hard for the legislators to get by without talking to us, because these strollers are large,” Watts said.
Watts said she modeled the group off the influential Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) campaign, in the hopes of making use of the “really unique…role that [mothers] play as activists in this country.”
“I think mothers have been a missing voice [in the gun debate] for a long time. For decades,” Watts said. “The reality is that when mothers get involved they can wield some significant influence and really have been catalysts of social change in this country.”
Shortly after 3 p.m. Monday, Watts plans to speak on a conference call with Vice President Biden urging senators to pass stricter legislation on background checks, assault weapons and ammunition. The mother of five hopes her words will inspire other moms to join her and spread her message to the Senate.
“I’m hoping…our legislators see that we are very, very serious about this. That we are in this for the long haul and that there will be a political price to pay if legislators don’t pay attention to moms pleas for change, for new and stronger gun laws,” Watts said.
“Moms aren’t going away on gun issues.”