A high-profile anti-gun organization is funded principally by donations over six figures, as revealed in tax reports recently released.
The March for Our Lives Action Fund, designated a “social welfare” organization by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), began its lobbying efforts in the days following the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018. Documents filed with the IRS, as required of all 501(c)(4) organizations, reveal that the money paying for the group’s many attempts to disarm American civilians comes from donations in excess of $100,000, belying the image of a movement supported by a broad popular base.
Such duplicity is nothing new for the group, though. In advance of the rally they held in Washington, D.C., on March 24, 2018, leaders of the organization promoted the march as an event for young people concerned about their safety and their future. Demographic data collected on the day of the event, however, reveal that the average age of those in attendance was 49.
Tax information disclosed by the March for Our Lives Action Fund show that 95 percent of the organization’s $17,879,150 in donations received in 2018 came from 36 sources, each of which donated between $100,000 and $3,504,717. Not exactly a grass-roots coalition of concerned mothers and fathers.
Americans who support the natural right of all people to protect their life, liberty, and property — with firearms, as protected by the Second Amendment — have long suspected that the gun grabbers were funded by billionaires with bodyguards rather than by “young people across the country,” as the group crows about on its website.
The U.S. tax code doesn’t require that organizations such as March for Our Lives Action Fund disclose the names of its donors, but there are those who brag of having boosted the group’s bottom line. The following fund contributors were reported by InfluenceWatch:
George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, and Kate Capshaw each donated $500,000 for the event. The clothing company Gucci donated $500,000 to the movement. Actress Sara Ramirez notably donated $20,000 to the GoFundMe page. Professional basketball player Dwayne Wade also donated $200,000 to the organization.
Billionaires, actors, athletes, and CEOs: again, hardly the homegrown movement portrayed by the media and the group’s own public relations campaign.
As important as the provenance of the group’s money is the purpose for which it is being spent.
In August 2019, the organization published “A Peace Plan for a Safer America,” which demanded that the federal government enact stricter background checks in order to reduce the number of privately-owned weapons in the United States.
Furthermore, enforcement of the “March for Our Lives” disarmament plan would require confiscation by federal agents of more than 100 million firearms currently owned by civilians.
According to an analysis of the report by the Washington Free Beacon, the plan’s overall aim is obscure as to how many guns they would see seized from American civilians, but the Free Beacon article estimates the total number of confiscated civilian-owned weapons could be as high as 117 million, were the March for Our Lives Peace Plan for a Safer America ever to be enforced.
The Free Beacon story added commentary from a March for Our Lives leader, indicating the insidious aim of the group’s gun grab and the millionaires and billionaires who are funding it:
March for Our Lives supporters said the proposed buybacks are part of an intentionally provocative plan designed to upend American gun culture. Many of the ideas in the plan are decades-old favorites of gun control organizations.
"It's bold. It's nothing like anyone else is proposing. We are really setting audacious goals," Tyah-Amoy Roberts, a survivor of the Parkland shooting and a March for Our Lives board member, told the Washington Post. "And more than anything, what we are seeking to do is be intersectional. We know and acknowledge every day that gun violence prevention is not just about preventing mass shootings."
As if that threat isn’t audacious enough — and surely reason enough to explain the lack of substantial small donations to the group’s coffers — the March for Our Lives plan would require anyone seeking a permit to purchase a weapon to have an in-person interview with a federal firearms agent. At the interview, the applicant would need to provide the agent with a list of personal references.
It goes without saying that people can associate together and try to achieve any goal, no matter how asinine or antithetical to American principles. Such endeavors are not covered by the Constitution and thus, the Second Amendment’s prohibition on the infringement on the right to keep and bear arms does not apply.
That said, with a roster of big-dollar donors like that of March for Our Lives Action Fund, there is the real and present possibility that lawmakers across the various levels of government will be persuaded to advance the anti-gun agenda in exchange for swollen campaign coffers or access to member rolls.
Proof of the group’s persuasive power is found in the pages of the tax report, as well.
Nearly $4 million was spent by March for Our Lives Action Fund on lobbying for gun-control legislation, which resulted in “ensuring the passage of over 50 pieces of gun violence legislation, at the state and federal level,” the organization claims on the tax forms.
Again, March for Our Lives Action Fund has a right to organize and petition to effect any change they would see made in our society. Those who oppose these changes —civilian disarmament, in the case of March for Our Lives — would be wise to organize themselves as well to obstruct this “gun violence legislation” on every level, every time it is introduced.
Those who cherish their natural right to defend their lives, liberty, and property with firearms will do well to remember a popular Latin maxim once memorized and mentioned by our Founding Fathers and those men who influenced them:
Principiis obsta, “Resist the first advances.”
Joe Wolverton II, J.D., is the author of the book The Real James Madison and his second book, What Degree of Madness: Federalist 46 and James Madison’s Call to Make America STATES Again, will be published this fall, along with a book about the forgotten influences on the Founding Fathers.