Updated: Jan 16
Venturing into Gun Rights Activism (or any kind of activism, really), you have to be smart, because the folks that own the media outlets have ties to the lobbying groups behind Gun Control... so we have to think like they do... but not like they do. Its how we bust through the propaganda.
You also have to take risks, but before jumping the gun (pun intended), you have to work through every negative before you pursue that risk. For example, if you use certain logos or even rebuild them with a similar font and then add other little goodies to drive a point, you have to be ready for the fall out, BUT! Make sure that fall out is the least damaging to you as possible, but makes your target look like even more of an ass.
I used to work in advertising and tinkered with graphic design, so, I'm quite aware of copyright laws and how they work. I also know how parody laws work... but that's beside the point in this case. OR IS IT!?!
Over the summer, a Dad-At-Arms pal of mine and I were yapping about Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and how we could really take a jab at them, but on a "troll" level. During that time, Moms Demand's founder, Shannon Watts was pushing the "White Male Nationalist Terrorist Dicks Bad" bull caca. Well, my pal was like, "What if we did this!?!"
The idea: Get a red shirt, write "Moms Demand" on it and then add NAUGHTY stuff to it as well.
In the real world... Ain't nobody got time fo dat!
BUT! 3rd Party Tee-Shirt sites do. So... I got into my graphic tinkerer program and rebuilt the Moms Demand Logo, using a similar font style and the lines in the "flag" a hair longer. Sent it to my Dad-At-Arms pal and he added some naughty stick figures. Here's the shirt:
I know! I know! For many who did not get the full reasons behind "The Shirt," we knew it was a devious and naughty plot, BUT (lots of "buts" here), there was a really really good point behind it.
Now! Before we go further, here is an ACTUAL Moms Demand Action fan, Illinois Rep. Jonathan Carroll (below), wearing the ACTUAL Moms Demand Action TRADEMARKED shirt that the shirt above was replicated from:
As you can see, from both pics above, there are a few differences. If you have ever worked in graphics, you'll notice a bit more, but OUR Shirt DOES NOT include "For Gun Sense In America," which is the organizations FULL and TAXED name: (More Info On Moms Demand Action)
You can also see the "A's" are very different fonts, and our shirt is a bit darker than the one Illinois Rep, Jonathan Carroll is wearing above. So, our shirt, though walking a very tight rope, was actually within "parody" guidelines. We did create a troll shop on Mom-At-Arms, but the links were purposefully broken. It was an act! You couldn't buy these shirts without a personally delivered link to the 3rd Party site. So, we made no outside profit. We actually LOST money because we were the only ones who bought the shirts!
More on "Parody Copyright Laws" : https://corporate.findlaw.com/intellectual-property/parody-fair-use-or-copyright-infringement.html
What's even better, even though we were not seeking profit in a public manner, we did not hide the existence of the shirt either. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America founder, Shannon Watts, and her cronies KNEW ABOUT THE SHIRT!
THEY LIKED IT & EVEN SHARED IT!
Here are the links to the articles where the pics below come from as further proof:
Watts Liked Naughty Moms Demand Tee: https://www.mom-at-arms.com/post/moms-demand-action-volunteer-punked-agrees-with-locking-up-all-gun-owners
Pittsburgh, PA Mayor Bill Peduto Can't Get Right But Loves Naughty Moms Demand Tee: https://ilwd4cr.home.blog/2019/08/07/knee-jerk-reactions-and-what-can-happen-bill-peduto/
The articles linked above in regards to "The Shirt" are from August & November of 2019. Fast forward to December of 2019, I get a message from a Moms Demander requesting that we pull her personal info from an article. First and foremost, we did NOT publish her personal info. The info we received on this Moms Demand volunteer was given to us via FOIA and even much of the info in those documents WE ended up blocking out because we saw it to be too personal. Here's the article that includes updated info of when this Moms Demand Volunteer reached out to me: https://www.mom-at-arms.com/post/loudoun-county-board-meeting-tonight-12-11-how-about-another-foia-drop
Not too long after that, I received this little goody from my 3rd Party T-shirt place:
What we expected back during the summer, when the idea came to life, happened. My 3rd Party T-shirt site (God Bless Them) got hit with a Cease & Desist because of Copyright/ Trademark INFRINGEMENT.
What is Copyright Infringement, you might ask?
Per Wikipedia: Copyright infringement is the use of works protected by copyright law without permission, infringing certain exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder, such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the protected work, or to make derivative works. The copyright holder is typically the work's creator, or a publisher or other business to whom copyright has been assigned.
Then there's Trademark Infringement: Trademark infringement is a violation of the exclusive rights attached to a trademark without the authorization of the trademark owner or any licensees (provided that such authorization was within the scope of the licence).
Now that you've all read that, you're probably thinking... "JILL! You're a heathen!"
Well, Chill! I knew they wouldn't go further than a Cease & Desist, cause, you see, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America & Everytown for Gun Safety's LAWYERS know that they'd get a Civil Suit right back... and one they'd very well LOSE. We've pulled any and all links to fabrication of the shirt, so, it's no longer an issue, but Moms Demand and Everytown... Shannon Watts and Michael Bloomberg, as well as any other Gun Control Politician in America needs to have access to this article... because myself and millions more can sue the pants off of them for Constitutional Infringement.
Virginia Law & Constitution: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/
CHECKMATE Gun Grabbers... I mean TYRANTS! Y'all didn't have MY PERMISSION to use MY RIGHTS for political gain!
PS: The money made off of "The Shirt" which was from personal money that was paid out, we donated to the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
Disclaimer: Mom-At-Arms does NOT promote violating someone else's rights to their namesakes, copyrights and trademarks. Where we acted within the realm of Parody Standards, we advise anyone that attempts such measures to make sure to speak with a legal expert before following through. Moms Demand Action is a trademarked name/ logo by Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America. Mom-At-Arms purposes of the shirt were NOT to make any profit, nor did we advertise it through major outlets for any said profits. Our purposes were strictly to make a point that where we do NOT have the right to infringe on Moms Demand Action's trademark/ copyrights... what gives them the right to infringe upon our Constitutional Rights? We wish no harm to Moms Demand Action founder, Shannon Watts, or any of her volunteers. We do aim to expose the hypocrisy and corruption behind Moms Demand Action & Everytown. Simply put.