On Mother’s Day 2000, record-setting demonstrations for gun control were held in Washington, D.C., and in 73 other cities. Organized by the “Million Mom March,” these demonstrations were hailed by much of the media at the decisive turning point in the political battle over gun ownership. This article takes a look at the history of the march, and some of the similarities and differences from 2018 anti-gun rallies.
After growing up in Louisiana and graduating from Louisiana State University with a major in journalism, Donna Dees-Thomases began her career as a local television news reporter. Then she moved to Washington, as a staffer first for Democratic Sen. Bennett Johnston, then with Sen. Russell Long, both of Louisiana. Her autobiography makes no mention of her having any opinion on the gun control issues that those senators addressed during her time with them. (Her autobiography is Donna Dees-Thomases & Alison Hendrie, Looking for a Few Good Moms: How One Mother Rallied a Million Others Against the Gun Lobby (Emmaus, Penn.: Rodale, 2004).) After that, she became the publicist for CBS News anchor Dan Rather. By 1999, she had transitioned to a one-day-per-week job as a publicist for David Letterman, living in suburban New Jersey and devoting most of her attention to her two young children, as well as older children from a previous marriage of her husband.
On August 7, 1999, a racist, mentally ill man loaded seven guns into his car in order to attack Jews in Los Angeles. He went to the Skirball Cultural Center, then to American Jewish University, and finally to the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance. As he scouted each location, he realized that all of them had armed security, so he did not attack.
by David Kopel