Like many mothers, Nadine Freedman was appalled and immediately identified with mothers whose children fell victim in December's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. But perhaps unlike some mothers, Freedman set out—two days later—to make a difference in her community.
Even though it took her an entire half day to hear about the Connectifcut shooting, the Wayne mother of two leapt into action to start the South Eastern Pennsyvlania chapter of One Million Moms for Gun Control.
On the day of the December 14 shooting, Freedman picked up her two children—six and eight—from a half day at their school. After tending to them the rest of the day at her mother's house, Freedman had no exposure to news. But when her husband called and told her about the shooting several hundred miles away, she immediately empathized.
"I can’t even explain how I felt and how I felt for those parents," she said. "I couldn’t even go there in my mind. It’s really hard when you have small children and you see something like that."
Freedman started the Southeastern chapter—which includes Philadelphia along with the suburbs—on December 17.
One Million Moms for Gun Control advocates for four main points:
- Ban assault weapons and ammunition magazines of more than 10 rounds
- Require background checks for gun purchases
- Report large-quantity sales of ammunition to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
- Limit the scope of concealed weapons laws at the state level
Freedman likened a lot of the points regarding keeping tabs on folks with guns to car registration.
"Every year you have to register your car, write down your odometer reading," she said. "We just accept these things as normal because we should we live in a society where everyone’s trying to live in a norma,l peaceful life, and these things make it easy."
While her chapter only has a Facebook page and about 250 members, Freedman plans on forming alliances with locals as well as legislators. And in addition to being a mother of two, Freedman runs two businesses with her husband. But that doesn't stop her from being involved in gun control advocacy.
"My emotions got me involved but my head keeps me involved in the process," she said. "Going forward we need to just make a difference here."
Freedman isn't typically fired up about politics, she sees this cause as an obligation for the betterment of her children and future grandchildren's lives.
"I’ve laid pretty low my whole life, I’m not a very political person," she said. "I don’t see this as a political issue, I see this as a safety issue."
But advocacy doesn't come without a price—Freedman said she's recieved her fair share of nasty emails. She hopes education will solve that kind of negativity.
"I know there’s so many arguments and people feel that their rights are being infringed upon," she said. "You can’t go fire in a crowded in a theater. The fact is, the Second Amendment isn’t an absolute and you have to be reasonable when you’re interpreting it."
She added: "I think a reasonable study of history and the laws would make it pretty clear that [our founding fathers] couldn’t have envisioned society being where it is today."