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Why moms are 'leading the charge' and asking for gun reform this Mother's Day

"If you need something done, you ask a mom."

Emily Amick of Emily In Your Phone and For Facts Sake is pushing for gun reform with the #PhoneCallsNotFlowers Mother's Day campaign. (Image: Getty; Senn & Sons Instagram; illustration by Aisha Yousaf for Yahoo)
Emily Amick of Emily In Your Phone and For Facts Sake is pushing for gun reform with the #PhoneCallsNotFlowers Mother's Day campaign. (Image: Getty; Senn & Sons Instagram; illustration by Aisha Yousaf for Yahoo)

It’s the time of year when anyone who has or loves a mom might be contemplating buying a bouquet, a box of chocolates or maybe a spa gift card. But a buzzy social media campaign is urging people to instead observe Mother’s Day by making their voice heard on one of the greatest issues affecting moms in the U.S.: gun violence. The #PhoneCallsNotFlowers campaign is the first from For Facts Sake (FFS), a new nonprofit founded by Emily Amick, a lawyer, journalist, former counsel to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the creator behind the popular political Instagram account Emily In Your Phone.

In their kickoff post shared on May 2, For Facts Sake points out that firearms are now the leading cause of death among kids and teens across the U.S. and encourages moms to ask the people who love them to “give the gift of action" by calling their reps to "support background checks on all gun sales." Specifically, the campaign encourages people to ask their representatives in the Senate and House to co-sponsor and push for the passage of the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2023 (S. 494, H.R. 715), which would prohibit a gun transfer “between private parties unless a licensed dealer, manufacturer or importer first takes possession of the firearm to conduct a background check.” It’s legislative action that For Facts Sake notes 87% of Americans are in support of, according to a Fox News poll.

To make it easy for people to take action, the FFS post features a to-do list that urges followers to get the phone numbers for their three federal reps (congressperson and two senators), make calls using a simple script and then share a screenshot of their call log on their Instagram account.

Of the inspiration for the push, Amick tells Yahoo Life that many of her followers are, like her, women in their 30s. “A lot of them are moms of young kids,” she explains, adding that she hears from them a lot on this subject. “They want to do more about gun violence, and they want to do it for their kids. So part of the campaign is moms saying, ‘Hey, all of you people who love us, we need you to stand up with us.’ This is a campaign about a mom speaking out and everyone who loves moms stepping up and saying, ‘We're with you. We're going to make our calls.’”

Given the epidemic of mass shootings — including the one at an Allen, Texas mall last week — Amick says “people are fed up with thoughts and prayers, and they are fed up with feeling like politicians care more about special interests than they do about the people who vote for them.”

And every day, she hears from moms who are losing sleep over the threat of a shooting, particularly at their child’s school. “I hear it every day, like, ‘My kids just came home. They had a drill, they're crying. I'm so scared,’” says Amick. “It should not be like this.”

The heartening twist: The For Facts Sake founder says she’s seeing “more and more public square conversations about this issue” and people with reps who are “traditionally against gun reform being willing to speak out and contact their reps.” “That's what we're going to need to see happen,” says Amick. “And we need more of those people making sure to communicate that this is an issue that they're going to make their vote depend on.”

Amick sees moms, in particular, as capable of getting that message across.

“If you need something done, you ask a mom, and this is something that we need to get done for the safety of America — for our kids, but for communities in general,” she notes. “Moms are leading the charge, and the rest of us are here to back them up.”

While Amick doesn’t have exact data to reflect how the campaign is going so far, she says she is hearing from followers who’ve reported back about their own calls or the fact that their spouse or parents have called their reps, in many cases, for the first time.

“I'm seeing so many people post about it — especially people who don't traditionally post about politics on their social media, which is incredible,” she says. “I just got a DM from someone who said they've been talking to their mom about this issue for the past year, and she finally made the call today.”

To anyone who might be getting involved in a campaign like this for the first time or be hesitant to speak out, Amick says, “Your voice has value, and you might not think that people are listening to you, but your loved ones, your friends, your family — you have influence over them, and your voice has meaning.”

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