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Moms Demand Action’s book club: an interesting choice (book regarding Wounded Knee massacre)

So, we all know that Moms Demand Action supports bans on commonly owned firearms that they deem "assault weapons" and also magazines they deem "hi-capacity". We also know that they want the government to heavily enforce the laws such as those that they advocate for. So, this brings us to the Moms Demand Action book club.

The Cultural and Entertainment Advocacy team at Everytown for Gun Safety is thrilled to present the Moms Demand Action Book Club, a powerful resource for deeper education and dialogue for Moms Demand Action volunteers and chapters across the country.Each quarter, we’ll present a curated list of books, sourced from Moms Demand Action volunteers, Everytown staff and Everytown Authors Council members and partners. They may not be expressly focused on gun violence, but instead will provide opportunities for chapters to connect their work with a larger cultural conversation.
Read below for current and past lists.

Looking through the list, you will see this:

October-December 2021: Centering Native American Voices
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer (2019)

If you're not familiar with the book:

The received idea of Native American history has been that American Indian history essentially ended with the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee. Not only did one hundred fifty Sioux die at the hands of the U.S. Cavalry, the sense was, but Native civilization did as well.

Growing up Ojibwe on a reservation in Minnesota, training as an anthropologist, and researching Native life past and present for his nonfiction and novels, David Treuer has uncovered a different narrative. Because they did not disappear - and not despite but rather because of their intense struggles to preserve their language, their traditions, their families, and their very existence- the story of American Indians since the end of the nineteenth century to the present is one of unprecedented resourcefulness and reinvention.

In The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, Treuer melds history with reportage and memoir. Tracing the tribes' distinctive cultures from first contact, he explores how the depredations of each era spawned new modes of survival. The devastating seizures of land gave rise to increasingly sophisticated legal and political maneuvering that put the lie to the myth that Indians don't know or care about property. The forced assimilation of their children at government-run boarding schools incubated a unifying Native identity. Conscription in the US military and the pull of urban life brought Indians into the mainstream and modern times, even as it steered the emerging shape of self-rule and spawned a new generation of resistance. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee is the essential, intimate story of a resilient people in a transformative era.

As you can see, the Wounded Knee massacre was a turning point for natives. It essentially forced them to adapt to what the US government wanted. So, what was the Wounded Knee massacre and why is it relative to Moms Demamd Action? Let's use a non-biased source, Encyclopedia Brtiannica.

Wounded Knee Massacre, (December 29, 1890), the slaughter of approximately 150–300 Lakota Indians by United States Armytroops in the area of Wounded Knee Creek in southwestern South Dakota. The massacre was the climax of the U.S. Army’s late 19th-century efforts to repress the Plains Indians. It broke any organized resistance to reservation life and assimilation to white American culture, although American Indian activists renewed public attention to the massacre during a 1973 occupation of the site.

Why did the massacre happen?

On December 28, 1890, the 7th Cavalry, commanded by Col. James W. Forsyth, reached the Miniconjou camp near Wounded Knee Creek, located roughly 20 miles northeast of the Pine Ridge Agency. The late Gen. George Armstrong Custer had led the 7th Cavalry to its demise at the Little Bighorn less than 15 years earlier. Big Foot saw Forsyth’s scouts and informed them that he would surrender without resistance. On December 29 Forsyth convened with the Miniconjou to begin the process of weapons confiscation. He herded them into a nearby clearing, had their men form a council circle, and surrounded the circle with his cavalry. He also positioned four Hotchkiss guns on a hilltop bordering the clearing.

Forsyth was clear in his terms: the Miniconjou must surrender all their weapons. Big Foot was hesitant, but he surrendered a few guns as a token of peace. Forsyth was not satisfied and ordered a complete search of the people and their camp, where his men discovered a host of hidden weapons. The increasingly intrusive search angered some of the Miniconjou. A man named Sits Straight began to dance the Ghost Dance and attempted to rouse the other members of the band, claiming that bullets would not touch them if they donned their sacred ghost shirts. The soldiers grew tense as Sits Straight’s dance reached a frenzy. When a deaf Miniconjou named Black Coyote refused to give up his gun, the weapon accidentally went off, and the fraught situation turned violent as the 7th Cavalry opened fire. Because many of the Miniconjou had already given up their weapons, they were left defenseless. Scores of Miniconjou were shot and killed in the first few moments, among them Big Foot. Some women and children attempted to flee the scene and sought protection in a nearby ravine, but the Hotchkiss guns fired on their position at a rate of 50 2-pound (0.9-kg) shells per minute. The Miniconjou who were able to make it a little farther were cut down by the mounted soldiers. The 7th Cavalry did not discriminate.

Immediately following the massacre, Forsyth ordered the transportation of 51 wounded Miniconjou to the Pine Ridge Agency. Hundreds of Lakota who lived there fled the area in horror; some even ambushed the 7th Cavalry in retaliation, prompting Miles to dispatch more troops to the area to quell further resistance. On January 2, 1891, a band of Lakota went to the site of the massacre and rescued a few survivors from the snow. The following day the U.S. Army unceremoniously buried 146 Miniconjou in a mass grave where the Hotchkiss guns had been placed, a location today known as Cemetery Hill. Many of the corpses were naked. Modern scholars estimate that between 250 and 300 Miniconjou were killed in total, almost half of whom were women and children. At least 25 U.S. soldiers also died, many likely fallen to friendly fire.

The Wounded Knee massacre occurred because the US Government was implementing gun control/disarmament on the Natives and demanded they surrender their firearms. The Natives attempted to reason/appease them by handing over some of their guns, but that wasn't good enough. The government then "invaded" the encampment (kinda like what happens when you get "red flagged" and your guns are ordered to be seized with no criminal charges) and searched for weapons to confiscate. A deaf native refused, a shot went off on accident, and the govenrment, who was there to implement gun control on the Natives, massacred hundreds of them and then buried the bodies in a massive grave.

"Think of the children" they say. "Women are a danger to themselves if they own guns" they say. Well, the completely oblivious fools of Moms Demanf Action probably can't put 2 and 2 together and see, from this historical example from their own book club, that gun control opens the door for massacres and oppression at the hands of the enforcers. So, with that, they arguably "endorse" government sanctioned murder and violence. What's clear though is these people (Everytown/MDA) have zero self-awareness and lack critical thinking skills regarding what exactly their advocating for and the possible consequences of such legislation if they get what they want.


Larry Spencer
Larry Spencer

Re-proofread the sentence beginning with "A deaf native." Thanks.



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