I have been silent with my own posts for the last year. Lots of things happening in society, especially with Gun Rights, that I had to take a step back in organizing my personal life as well as the actual business that is Mom-At-Arms. It's been a nice break to put some ideas into play and to become more active outside of the digital world, but YESTERDAY, though... I got a text message from two of my sweet friends within The DC Project (Dianna Muller & Kelly Ann Pidgeon) asking if I were ok with some recent news spread throughout the digital world. I was actually completely shocked (due to my lack of social media awareness over the last few months) but, this news put a lot of things back into perspective, especially for my main goal behind Mom-At-Arms.
Real Quick: To Dianna and Kelly Ann, I am always down for a hug.
To the rest of you who take the time to read this, the original mission behind the creation of Mom-At-Arms has always been to annoy the snot out of Shannon Watts and her organization, Moms Demand Action (as well as others like them). Here's a little background check for you all: In late 2016, while I was super pregnant, call it hormones or me about to become a MOTHER... but I got more into the political buzz than I ever had before. Although "Gun Control" had been a thing in society for a bit, it wasn't really prevalent in my community or social talks, but for the first time in my life, that was the year that I saw a Moms Demand Action ad on tv, calling for "Gun Sense in America." I found it weird, because it didn't make ANY sense, so I started researching the organization... as well as Shannon Watts. (Please Note: I'm a lifelong SOUTHERN Virginian... we don't do fancy, cutesy words like, "Gun Sense." We might talk, read, and drive slow, but we use logic and COMMON SENSE almost as much as duct tape and WD-40... just sayin...)
Not too long after, I had a baby (it's a boy) and started my new venture into motherhood. Because I was home more with a new baby and no other adult to talk to, unless it was about THE BABY, I also found myself back on social media, like Twitter, diving into the cesspool of drama, there. That is when I humbly started following Shannon Watts, because I wanted to know more about where this woman was heading with her stance. "Gun Sense" sounded like a fancy term for "Gun Safety," and being southern, as well as the daughter of a Law Enforcement Officer; who grew up around firearms all of my life and I'm STILL HERE, I had to understand HER, because the BS she was saying, was exactly that... BULL SHIT.
What I didn't understand most was that she had a HUGE following, and seemed obsessed with Dana Loesch. I was very NEW to the Gun Rights World. I've always been a Gun Rights advocate, but in a more "local" arena. Nothing like Dana or many of those that I now call friends. It was when I met the ladies behind One Million Moms Against Gun Control (1MMAGC) that it all clicked for me. I had a path to pave!!
Call it an obsession of my own, but the more Shannon Watts demeaned Dana and other gun rights folks, on top of the info that 1MMAGC provided me; AND the more Shannon tried to explain "Gun Violence," I HAD to combat her LIES mixed with truth. It triggered me, horribly. So... by late 2017, early 2018... with the support of my social media and some real life pals, Mom-At-Arms became a thing and I became a "face" and name known for pissing Shannon Watts off, often.
The name, "Mom-At-Arms," is a play on words of "Man-At-Arms," btw... (for those of you who didn't pick up on that)
After almost a year of taking the twisted information that Watts and her harpies within Moms Demand Action were spewing, and successfully combatting it, I ended up getting a coveted "Watts Block." (She blocked me on Twitter... and then ended up finding all of my other social platforms and blocking me on those, too. So who's stalking who, Shan Shan?)
Not too much longer, my little team behind the scenes (from all over the country) and I created a shirt image that was meant to be a perverse spoof in order to "troll" Watts and some of her "Gun Sense" political candidates... which in turn earned me (or at least my 3rd party t-shirt vendor) a sweet Cease & Desist order from Everytown for Gun Safety/ Moms Demand Action due to copyright infringements (Imagine that!). Where many would find that to be "EXTREME" or even embarrassing, it became the anchor for what put Mom-At-Arms on Watts' map, when she much later used the same image to defame a Virginia congressional candidate, Nick Freitas.
She knew who we were, now. She knew who I WAS... and she knew I was NOT backing down. (Hell! I was willing to troll her with a naughty, fake t-shirt!) From that moment on, my team and I have played major roles in helping expose & combat some of the most influential Gun Control proponents in the nation. OUR work and independent research has been used in Senate/ House hearings, by major news outlets, by other 2A orgs, as well as by many of you in your personal attempts at combatting Gun Control proponents on social media... without you even knowing it.
Shannon Watts and Moms Demand Action are the reason why Mom-At-Arms is even a thing. (Thanks bunches!) So with that, it is with GREAT sadness that I inform you all that Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, will be retiring by the end of 2023.
NOTE: Moms Demand Action isn't being disbanded, so I worry about who steps into Shan Shan's shoes; and call it a "stalker's intuition" (so I know how to call some things), but I don't think we'll see the last of Shannon Watts and her gun control efforts. Am I happy about that? Hmmm...
Because I believe that all things happen for a reason... and "goodness" prevails... ALWAYS, but we need "the bad" for a while in order to see it. Put it this way: If it weren't for folks like Watts spreading her falsehoods to create confusion, honestly... many new gun owners would have never had that "Ah Ha" moment when the bull caca hit the fan back in 2020-2021; when they slowly, but officially came to grasp with the truth that Gun Rights Advocates were trying to get across. To add, that helped in waking many 2A folks up out of complacency (which gave Gun Control an upper hand in the first place) and led to the many successes that 2A/ Gun Rights has had in the last couple of years.
So, am I happy about Shan Shan retiring and her possible new ventures to promote gun control?
It's a mixed bag of emotions over here, honestly.
Shan Shan, as head of Moms Demand Action, has become a bad habit for me over the course of the last several years, so I'm stunned and slightly saddened by the news. I mean... her "leaving" was my main goal... but then again, because I know her pretty well now... I'm glad she'll be sticking around. Doing what? I don't know yet, but knowing her... as I do... I can only imagine it will be more political in context, which will just create even more issues for her to forget sending me a Christmas card each year. (I'm still here, Shan Shan!) PERSONALLY, I see her doing more media consultations and special appearances. Maybe another redundant book deal on her "life after Moms Demand Action."
Also, because I'm only Extreme-ish, and not an "Extremist," I wish her the best of luck, but it truly sucks that while she worked a decade to build Moms Demand Action to what it is now, when it only took me a handful of years to help in shining a light and exposing her as the "copy cat" AND fraud that she is.
Dearest Shannon Watts,
I wish you the best of luck in your retirement. I am grateful for you in regards of my own success with Mom-At-Arms. I hope the future brings you actual enlightenment with your cause. Your leaving has me feeling somewhat accomplished, but I'm actually sad to see you go after a decade of work... when I AM just getting started.
(Didn't expect that, huh?)
Jill S. McDaniel
Founder of Mom-At-Arms... and I just paid the bill for this site, so I'll be here for a bit longer. ;)