The moms had demands: gun control laws mandating licensing and registration of handguns, longer waiting periods to buy them and a one-gun-a-month purchase limit, which march organizers feel is the best way to keep more of their children from dying by the bullet. They had their critics, in the form of the Second Amendment Sisters, who held a counter-rally at the Washington Monument to insist that gun control laws only give criminals the firepower edge. An old debate, to be sure, and when the moms have all gone home nobody expects much of a renaissance for the gun control legislation that's been languishing in the Republican Congress for about a year. It's certainly not a debate that Clinton, Gore, or either side in Congress has much interest in settling until Gore and Bush get their chance to hash it out on the national stage this summer. Thanks for coming out, Moms. You'll be hearing from our political operatives in the fall.
Lucky the Clintons just happened to be in town this Mother's Day when the moms showed up. "Don't be deterred by the political mountain you have to climb," President Clinton told hundreds of mothers siphoned off from the "Million Mom March" for a White House ceremony Sunday morning. Added Hillary Clinton: "We've come here in the names of the children we love, the children we have lost, the children we want to save." Al Gore, who's still trying to figure out why his vehement anti-gun stands haven't got him much traction yet against George W. Bush, wasn't around. And most of the moms if not a million, then somewhere in the hundreds of thousands, by most counts were on the National Mall, holding signs, listening to Rosie O'Donnell, and generally thronging around in a way meant to show the NRA that they were a political force to be reckoned with.