Moms will march in Fairhope this weekend to demand stronger gun laws

By Allison Marlow
Posted 8/15/19

Donna Orchard says when she was still teaching in 2009, the scariest moments her students faced were tornado drills.

Now, they are taught to fight for their lives during annual active shooter …

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Moms will march in Fairhope this weekend to demand stronger gun laws

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Donna Orchard says when she was still teaching in 2009, the scariest moments her students faced were tornado drills.

Now, they are taught to fight for their lives during annual active shooter drills.

Baldwin County moms want change. The Baldwin County chapter of the national Moms Demand Action group will march Saturday in Fairhope to demand legislators consider stricter gun laws.

After 17 students and staff members were killed at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. in February, 2018, Orchard said she and dozens of other local moms had had enough.

More than 50 people gathered at the kickoff meeting of the local Moms Demand Action group. The national organization works with Everytown for Gun Safety to ask legislators to consider and vote for measures that limit needless bloodshed in their communities.

Orchard said naysayers assume the group is trying to remove all guns from the nation, but that is not true.

“No one at Moms Demand Action or anywhere else is against people hunting or shooting for sport,” she said. “What we do want is a return to an assault weapons ban,” Orchard said. “For those ten years there was a dramatic decrease in the number of mass shootings.”

Orchard said it is difficult to host discussions with opposing viewpoints on the issue as individuals talk over each other and refuse to hear the other side.

“It’s very difficult to deal with gun matters in Alabama,” she said. “It seems like we’re trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon sometimes.”

This weekend the group will take part in a nationwide effort to host a Recess Rally. While U.S. Senators are home for recess the local groups are holding rallies to demand politicians pass laws that require background checks on all gun sales and strengthen Red Flag laws that allow family members or law enforcement to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from someone who may be a danger to themselves or others.

Orchard said their group meets every month locally and nationally to work on the public safety issues through legislative change. And she said, they are not affiliated with either political party.

“This is not a red or blue this organization,” she said. “We don’t take sides with any political party.”

Instead, Orchard said, organizers are dedicated to keeping their communities safe.

“We believe this is major public health issue. If we had a disease killing 45,000 people a year like gun violence we would be up at the CDC banging on the door,” she said.