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Moms for Gun Control Draw Rival
Counterdemonstrators plan to rally at their march in D.C.

April 11, 2000 - BY DAWSON BELL - FREE PRESS LANSING BUREAU

The Million Mom March for gun control
scheduled for May 14 in Washington, D.C.,
may not attract a million moms.

But it has attracted a rival.

Also scheduled to rally on the Mall on
Mothers Day are the Armed Informed
Mothers, a group which, as its name
suggests, is less favorably disposed to
federal firearm regulation.

Michigan will be represented in both
contingents. But while the million moms
have been organizing for more than six
months and riding a wave of national
publicity, the counterdemonstrators
coalesced on the Internet in January as a
group calling itself the Second
Amendment Sisters.

The Michigan coordinator for AIM is not a
mom; he's a man.

Eugene Allen of Warren said he has been
working on the campaign for about three
weeks after learning about it on an e-mail
list. He has been spreading the word via
the Internet and at gun shows.

Allen, a sheet metal worker, said he
expects to be replaced by a more maternal
figure soon. But he doesn't know what
kind of female turnout to expect.

"So far, I know my wife is going with me,
and I know of at least two others," he said.

Local organizers for the million moms said
they expect at least 2,000 from Michigan
to attend. The moms group is urging
Congress to enact new gun-control
measures to stem gun violence among
young people. Although the range of
proposals varies within branches of the
group, all call for some form of mandatory
trigger locks, increased licensing and
registration requirements.

Susan Brown, a Grosse Pointe mother and
local organizer, said she favors enactment
of laws that would require gun owners to
keep weapons secure and unloaded in
their homes.

She described the Second Amendment
Sisters Web site, which features a poster of
a woman who appears to have used a
shotgun to defend herself, as "shocking
and frightening."

Kim Watson, a national spokeswoman for
Second Amendment Sisters, said Friday
said that while the antigun moms "portray
firearms as nothing but evil ...we want to
show that they can be and are used for
positive things."

Watson, a mother who lives in Tallahassee,
Fla., said she is sympathetic to the aims of
the million moms, especially those who
have lost children to violent death.

"I think many of these women have lost a
lot, and they are frightened and they want
somebody to do something," Watson said.

"We just don't see their solutions as
something that will work."

The Second Amendment Sisters' Web site:
www.sas-aim.org The Million Mom March
Web site: www.millionmommarch.com

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