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October 25, 2011

Pro-Gun Activists Make Heinous, Misognynistic Threats to Virginia Mom

Male pro-gun activists frequently target Americans who work in the field of gun violence prevention in an attempt to intimidate, harass, threaten, and generally deter them from working to strengthen our nation’s gun laws. And the “softer” the target, the better—because there is certainly nothing brave about abusing someone online behind the anonymity of a keyboard. Sadly, the brunt of these attacks has often fallen on women.

One such woman is Abby Spangler. Spangler—a mother of two young children who lives in Alexandra, Virginia—started the Protest Easy Guns movement following the horrific mass shooting at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007. At that point, she realized she couldn’t remain silent anymore. "I'd been thinking, 'Is this what we've come to in America?'” she told the Washington Post. "But when Virginia Tech happened, I said, 'I've had enough.' Then when I found out the Virginia Tech shooter got his gun in a matter of minutes, I was outraged. I decided that someone had to speak out and say this is unacceptable. We're not just going to light candles to mourn the victims. We're going to protest for change."

And that is exactly what Spangler has done. In just a matter of four years, her protest movement has spread across the nation. To date, more than 110 “Lie-In” protests have been conducted in more than 30 states by Protest Easy Guns volunteers. These protests have called for common-sense gun laws to prevent individuals who are clearly violent and/or deranged from easily obtaining firearms.

The success of her movement has brought Spangler acclaim from Americans concerned about the 30,000+ gun deaths each year in the United States, and venom from gun rights activists. Recently, Abby shared with us the following communications she has received from gun rights activists online. They speak for themselves:

One thing is for sure. The gun-fetishizing cowards that typed these messages in their parents' basements don't know Abby Spangler very well. Her good work to prevent the loss of life to gun violence continues, and she now has hundreds (if not thousands) of gun violence survivors across this country standing behind her. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is proud to stand behind Abby as well. We always will stand behind her, and all other Americans working to prevent gun violence.

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