The election of President Donald J. Trump has opened the door to many unconventional candidates; lots of people are now considering political office a viable option. This new dynamic has produced a number of new faces in the congressional races. One such prospect was anti-gun activist Shannon Watts—however, she recently announced that she would not seek election in Colorado’s second congressional district to replace U.S. Representative Jared Polis, who is running for governor. According to Watts, who spent the summer feeling out her prospects of entering what she called an “all-male field,” she now plans to stay focused on her work as the leader of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
To be honest, I wish she wouldn’t. The good news is that Moms Demand Action is devoid of positive, quantifiable results in the area of gun control. The bad news is that Watts hopes to remedy that. She points to the election of President Trump and his ties to the National Rifle Association as a motivating factor for her decision not to run. Just the fact that President Trump is a supporter of an actual constitutionally guaranteed right is enough for her to oppose him and millions of American gun owners. Think about that—instead of seeking to connect with others who outside of Second Amendment support are very much like herself, to discuss ways to achieve goals that benefit us all, her sole intention is to generate news coverage and vilify law-abiding people. Just the fact that President Trump is a supporter of an actual constitutionally guaranteed right is enough for her to oppose him and millions of American gun owners.
If Watts were serious about having a positive impact and reducing violence, she could have started a group called “Moms Demand Accountability for Inner-City Parents.” America’s inner cities are where murder rates are the highest and the death toll is the most devastating. Inner-city moms would appreciate Watts bringing her public relations skillset and putting it to use on their behalf. Or perhaps “Moms Demand Border Control” to mitigate the loss of job opportunities in inner cities for minorities whose employment prospects are negatively impacted by illegal immigrants taking their jobs and lowering wages. According to the FBI, violent crime is up for the second year in a row; lowering legal access to guns isn’t the answer to that problem.
For the "box wine club" moms that Watts represents, dealing with the destruction of the family that is plaguing inner cities in America isn’t a sexy proposition. There are no protests covered by CNN cameras to preen for.
Running for office would have opened Watts up to scrutiny by Americans who aren’t enthralled with her gun control stances; she would have been required to answer for her interesting takes on myriad issues. Watts had a stellar PR career working for large corporations, Monsanto being one. But her time spent in defense of flouting doctor-patient confidentiality in record keeping had the potential to alienate those on both the left and the right. Running for office would have opened Watts up to scrutiny by Americans who aren’t enthralled with her gun control stances; she would have been required to answer for her interesting takes on a myriad of issues.
Back in 2008, when Watts was Shannon Troughton, she worked in public relations for Wellpoint, Inc., which was operator of Blue Cross of California at the time. In her capacity as Wellpoint spokesperson, she was a defender of a well-hated insurance procedure called rescission, which is a fancy name for cancellation. Patients would come under scrutiny after they became ill and incurred hefty medical bills. The insurance companies would request medical files from their doctors and then pore over them for minute details to compare to their insurance policy applications. If any discrepancies were found, rescission would ensue.
Watts unblinkingly defended this practice in an emailed statement: "Enrolling an applicant who did not disclose their true condition (and the condition is chronic or acute), will quickly drive increased utilization of services, which drives up costs for all members. Blue Cross feels it is our responsibility to assure all records are accurate and up to date for HMO providers. We send these letters to identify members early on in the process who may not have been honest in their application."
In the Repeal and Replace Age of Obamacare, with all eyes on Congress and insurance companies, could this be the real reason Watts has dropped her congressional aspirations? No matter. Her plans to continue to oppose gun-owning Americans, people who have committed no crime, her neighbors—law-abiding citizens with no animus towards her—will be met with the same silent courage as before. There is no activism "safe space" for anti-gunners, and Second Amendment proponents are happy to keep supporting freedom.
Stacy Washington is a decorated Air Force veteran, Emmy-nominated TV personality and host of nationally syndicated radio program “Stacy on the Right,” based in St. Louis. She loves God and guns, and is a member of the NRA.