No Room for Compromise, Says Gun Control Organizer

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

( - The organizer of Sunday's anti-gun march in Washington is asking all those who took part - in person or in spirit - to continue the push for gun control in their own communities, and she indicated that if Democrat Al Gore offers a clear, specific policy on gun control, her group would endorse his presidential candidacy.

Donna Dees-Thomases, in a Monday-morning interview on NBC's Today show, said far more people attended Sunday's march on the Mall than she expected, sending a clear signal that "it's time for Congress to listen to us."

Dees-Thomases is very clear and very specific about what she hopes to accomplish in the months ahead. Her group, which calls itself the Million Moms, is demanding the registration of handguns, licensing of gun owners, mandatory child-proofing of guns, and limits on handgun purchases: "These are required things we need to make our society safe," she said.

Beware of smokescreens when talking to candidates, Dees-Thomases said: "If we hear answers like, 'I'm for the enforcement of current laws,' or 'I'm for voluntary trigger locks,' then we know that these candidates and elected officials are in the pockets of the NRA."

"I think they [National Rifle Association] know, they are worried, they are scared that we will now have our say in Congress, and if Congress doesn't listen to us, then we will elect a new Congress."

As for the idea that existing guns laws should be enforced - "that's the big fib," Dees-Thomases said.

"You know, it's like saying we have 20,000 traffic regulations, like stop signs, red lights, speeding limits, but let's not license the drivers or regulate the cars.

"We're not fools, we know we cannot fully enforce the laws that are on the books, which are, quite frankly, mostly zoning laws, unless we have these very specific policies in place, like licensing and registration."

Dees-Thomases never mentioned the Second Amendment in her Today show interview. She insisted that the NRA is fighting gun control because "it's not going to be convenient."

She also said the NRA is concerned about gun sales going down because with more gun control laws, fewer people would be able to make impulse purchases. "Too bad for them," she said. We're concerned about our children. This is about our children's safety."

Dees-Thomases said would-be handgun buyers, before making a purchase, should be required to meet certain conditions, including the successful completion of safety courses, background checks, waiting periods, fingerprinting, and photo IDs.

Dees-Thomases dismissed Republican George W Bush's plan to provide free trigger locks in the state of Texas to anyone who wants one. Last week, Bush said he'd do the same thing nationally if he's elected president.

"Ridiculous," said Dees-Thomases of Bush's plan. "That's like saying, 'Here's a set of seatbelts, now you go install them, but you really don't have to use them because you're not going to get a ticket if you're stopped."

She called it a "feel-good measure" that really has no effect.

Asked about her group's choice for the next president of the United States, Dees said, "I personally don't know if we're going to endorse a presidential candidate," then came very close to doing just that.

"But I would say to vice presidential candidate Al Gore today that, please, look out and see that sea of faces, and know that if you give us clear policy - not compromise policy, but clear policy - I think you can count on our support."

On the other hand, she said that the idea of Bush becoming president and letting the NRA dictate his policy - as an NRA official suggested - "terrifies me."

Several times, Republican George W Bush has repudiated the suggestion that he would be a puppet of the NRA or any other group.