The Washington Post reported this week that Shannon Watts, founder of the Moms Demand Action gun control group, is retiring.
Watts has become a hero to the gun prohibition movement, and the Moms group became part of anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s gun control empire. However, she was also seen as an enemy of the Second Amendment by gun rights organizations. In reporting about her retirement announcement, The Truth About Guns described her as “hophlophobic,” meaning she has an irrational fear of firearms.
Watts rose to prominence in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in which a deranged man who had murdered his mother only a short time before, drove to the school and opened fire, killing 20 children and six adults.
During her time in the spotlight, Watts became something of a media darling. Bloomberg wrote on Twitter that Watts has been “a great partner and friend.”
According to a report in the Washington Examiner, the Moms group “has accomplished next to nothing.”
“The gun control movement lost substantial support during the pandemic,” the Examiner story said, “hitting a seven-year low in 2021. Millions of people became first-time gun owners during the crime wave that followed the Black Lives Matter riots, leaving the gun control movement in an even weaker position for years to come.”
On social media, many people reacted unfavorably, noting that in the past several years with Watts heading the organization, the number of states with “constitutional carry” requiring no permit or license to carry a gun has risen to 25, literally half of the nation.
The WaPo story seemed to gush over her, stating, “Watts’s success stems from an uncommon blend of qualities and experience that made her ideally suited for the job’s challenges. Her previous work as a communications executive gave her a deep understanding of how to attract media attention and market ideas. She turned a severe case of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder into what she called a ‘superpower’ that allowed her to hyper focus for many hours straight, a skill she’s harnessed hundreds of times to live-tweet details and context after shootings.”
There is no indication of what she may do next, if she does anything.