You CAN help!

You CAN help!

We’re chatting about a hot button topic today but I believe you’ll walk away from this couch chat appreciating how reasonable and logical it was. The best news about this issue is that you CAN help.

Kitty Brundtner, founder of the organization March Fourth, is here to share why she founded this organization and what singular mission they have.

Kitty is team extra just like us and thank the Lord she is because she is doing the things we don’t necessarily want to. With that said, participation is required to make positive change and that’s where we come in, friend.

Let’s dive into this chat with open minds and a lot of grace. Thanks for being here, friend!


Nicole Walters: Hey friends, I’m so excited for another couch chat. I know that we’ve been talking about bigger things this season and everything from, you know, what it’s like navigating life post divorce, finances, politics. I mean, we have really been diving in on the things that matter to us. And if you know, anything about me. I’m all about making sure that we are grace filled, that we are as balanced as we can be while maintaining our values and our ethics and morals.

Nicole Walters: But I also want to make sure that you have every single thing you need to make the choice that makes sense for you, your family, and yourself. and your neighbor. And what that means is I don’t just lean on my own understanding. I also bring in my good friends who I think are experts in their respective space, but also are doing big things and have the receipts to show for it.

Nicole Walters: And for that reason, I’m really excited because I am here today with my dear friend Kitty. And if you don’t know about Kitty Branner, you are about to be. Beyond Florida, you know, I don’t bring people on if I don’t think it’s worth the time and we’re gonna actually chat about something That’s a pretty hot button issue and I tell you people get fired up about this But by the end of this conversation, I think you’re gonna be like I did not know that that is such a reasonable Way to look at this issue and I’m not gonna get all roped up in the internet back and forth You I’m going to make sure that I am empowered to think for myself and to do what I think makes the most sense because we’re sensible folk.

Nicole Walters: So, Kitty Brandert’s here, and she is the founder and CEO of March. And, uh, this is an incredible organization that is doing powerful things. And I’m going to have Kitty tell you a little bit more about that. Kitty, thank you so much for being here.

Kitty Brundtner: Thank you for having me. This is the best day. I’m so excited.

Nicole Walters: am so excited that you’re here. People don’t know we have such, um, when we met, I was like, Oh, she is my people’s like, Just the same energy mostly because we are we are the people that see an issue and it’s not just like oh I saw the paper and picked it up. We’re like I saw the paper. I picked it up I build a built a robot that now picks up paper and I bought the restaurant and I revamped it and then I also Recycled said paper like we are team the most you are that person you are team Extra the most you saw an issue and you fix an issue.

Nicole Walters: So let’s get right into that. What is March 4th? What’s it about? What’s the issue?

Kitty Brundtner: Yes, so March 4th is an organization that I founded accidentally.

Nicole Walters: Mm

Kitty Brundtner: It is a nonpartisan organization and the only

Nicole Walters: does nonpartisan mean? Just so people can understand

Kitty Brundtner: nonpartisan means we are not aligned with either party. In fact, we’re aligned with no party. It’s regardless of the political parties, we are focused on the issue. And that issue is singular. And that is to reinstate the federal ban on assault weapons. And I have to use the word reinstate. And I didn’t know this when I founded March 4th almost two years ago, America had an assault weapons ban for 10 years.

Nicole Walters: Okay. So first things first, because I do think that the word ban can feel so triggery, especially for anyone here, because I’ve got, I mean, we run the gamut here, right? Like I’ve got my old school Southern sisters and I’ve got, you know, my two way right, you know, like I grew up in a hunting family, you know, and I also have, you know, people in my community that are like, listen, like I have never touched a weapon and you know, what are you talking about here?

Nicole Walters: Like, so just help me understand. Cause I think the word ban can sound kind of crazy pants and ban makes me think, you know, just kind of speaking for everyone, you mean no guns in existence in anywhere. And so tell me what that, so that’s not it.

Kitty Brundtner: Goodness, no. No. And I think that’s the biggest focus, like, the reason that we have found this niche is I think for so long the conversation has been all the guns are no guns.

Nicole Walters: Which is what, I mean that’s, people say gun control, it must mean that, or gun ban, it must mean that. You know, so, all guns, no guns.

Kitty Brundtner: Right. And there’s just, you can’t have that polarizing of a stance in America to get anything done regardless of what it is.

Nicole Walters: I can’t even have that stance in my house to figure out dinner. Like pizza or salads.

Kitty Brundtner: the type of pizza.

Nicole Walters: People will be like, starve. I choose option three,

Kitty Brundtner: We cannot agree. So I think what’s really interesting is to look at this as, yes, we had an assault weapons ban.

Kitty Brundtner: What that meant was assault weapons, which are military grade weapons, weapons that were designed to be used in war and kill the most amount of people in the shortest amount of time as effectively as possible.

Nicole Walters: like the Arnold Schwarzenegger, like cool, fast, super fast shooting, those type of things. That’s an assault weapon, not just like a hunting rifle.

Kitty Brundtner: No. I mean, it’s think, I mean, it’s an AR 15, it’s an AK 47. These weapons were designed for one purpose and from 1994 to 2004, with both Democrats and Republicans supporting the bill, it was signed into law and we did not have civilian access to these weapons.

Nicole Walters: Wait, so I think this is actually really important to call out because most of us don’t even know this. And I think we don’t know this because, frankly, we benefited from it. And You know how you just didn’t even realize it was a thing until it wasn’t there. So I’m gonna be really honest I Feel like and I think a lot of you know, my friends on here will say the same thing Like things got really crazy recently with like school shootings, mass shootings, things like that.

Nicole Walters: And when I say crazy, I do remember like Columbine growing up, right? Like I do remember that there were mass shooting events, but I feel like that the casualties are just so much worse. Like, you used to hear about, like, you know, things would happen, like, in a mall, and it’d be, like, five people or ten people, and which, look, every single life is relevant and matters, but I felt like it wasn’t as big, but all of a sudden, you know, how we, like, do we think back to fonder times?

Nicole Walters: Now I’m, like, what do you mean at a concert a hundred people are, you know, dead and injured? What do you mean an entire year? School classroom now is that because or is there some correlation between the salt like walk me through if that’s what we’re seeing and feeling and why? 94 to 2004 Felt like golden era.

Kitty Brundtner: So what I always say is the only benefit of this law expiring is that we have the data to know that it worked. we know, because data, that you were 70 percent less likely to die in a mass shooting when this law was in place. When the law expired in 2004, Mass shootings began to skyrocket to the point where we are now, where we’re breaking our own American records every year of most mass shootings in a year.

Kitty Brundtner: And that is.

Nicole Walters: you’re saying it’s getting worse every year. It’s not that it’s just a lot, it’s just every year it’s

Kitty Brundtner: yeah, that hockey stick, mm hmm. And there’s many, many reasons and a lot of different, you know, there’s a lot of complexities, but my whole goal, my career is in sales and it’s about translating things and making it easy to understand. Like, I went to a Big Ten university, I am not an Ivy Leaguer, I am not a scholar or policy wonk.

Kitty Brundtner: If I can understand this, Anyone can. And so when we look at this, when I founded this organization, it was after several mass shootings had occurred and the common denominator was that the shooter obtained the AR 15 legally.

Nicole Walters: Correct. Every time that one of these shootings happens, it’s always, well, they were mentally unwell. And you know, what we really need to do is have better screening, both for their mental wellness in addition to for them to have access to weapons.

Nicole Walters: Transcribed But what you’re telling me is that in these situations, the weapons were obtained legally, but it wouldn’t have been legal in 2000, between 94 and 2004.

Kitty Brundtner: And what I’m saying is, look, gun violence is a rampant

Nicole Walters: a huge issue. Just in general. We’re not talking about solving every problem entirely,

Kitty Brundtner: And, and we can’t. But, if you look at the deadliest mass shootings, the common denominator is the legally obtained assault weapon. And so our whole thing is, if we could mitigate that, shouldn’t we?

Nicole Walters: We, so we would cut down, I mean, just the numbers of the numbers. If we were to reinstate this, then my odds is 70 percent right away, less likely to die in a mass shooting. Me, my child, my neighbor, my, my husband.

Kitty Brundtner: Yeah, based on the data of when it existed, I think when you look at the, the,

Nicole Walters: But possibly even more now, cause you said it’s going up.

Kitty Brundtner: precisely, when you look at the effectiveness of these weapons, and we have brought doctors and physicians to the Hill kind of to explain this from a data perspective. These weapons were designed to be as effective as possible. And what that means is they create the Trigger warning, like cavities in the body, right?

Kitty Brundtner: So we have doctors come to the hill saying, hey, I, no matter how highly trained I am or where I’ve studied, I can’t recreate an organ. so while I can try to save a gunshot victim wound, right, where it’s an inbound, in and out, um, wound. Like, I can’t recreate an organ. I can’t recreate an organ in somebody’s body.

Kitty Brundtner: They will tell Congress, I cannot save a child who is hit by an AR 15 because the surface area, the way these bullets work, you cannot

Nicole Walters: too big. It’s blowing up the body.

Kitty Brundtner: correct. So we don’t have the, we don’t have the tools to react to these weapons. So when they are used, and the reason they are the mass shooter’s weapon of choice is because they’re effective.

Nicole Walters: Because, because I’m, because let’s just be completely transparent. If you have a mental health issue or you are a child or you are young, you may not be a very good shooter. So let me pick something that I know will help me accomplish my goal without being very good at whatever the skill is. So also when you tell me this piece about kind of what doctors are saying about, because I thank God that I don’t have intimate knowledge of this and I pray that I go my whole life without ever knowing.

Nicole Walters: anything about how this goes, but I also know that if things, if something isn’t done, whether or not people agree with what we’re having a conversation here, that it is just what it is, right? Like, so we pray that it’s better, but what you’re telling me about this sort of body damage piece is that right now, If there is a mass shooting and someone is using an assault weapon, it’s basically like before, if it was just like a hunting rifle or a handgun, I could go in there and throw the equivalent of a,

Kitty Brundtner: grape at

Nicole Walters: let’s say a grape at people.

Nicole Walters: And I could only throw three grapes. And so I would hit three people. But now in my odds of trying to hit someone with an assault rifle, it’s like me throwing watermelons and having the ability to hit 50 people.

Kitty Brundtner: and having a conveyor belt of watermelons, if you have a high capacity magazine, which basically allows you to reload and reload, you know, not have to reload basically.

Kitty Brundtner: So I think it’s easy to get technical with this topic, but at the, at the end of the day, what we’re trying to do is limit. Death is, is,

Nicole Walters: We’re not trying to honestly we’re not trying to fix guns, that’s what you’re saying. It’s just I just want less people to die if possible

Kitty Brundtner: And, and what’s really shocking to me is two thirds of America, including half of Republicans agree.

Kitty Brundtner: So we have the majority of America that supports the reinstatement of the assault weapon ban because it is logic. And when I started this, that was the biggest, like, question that I had

Nicole Walters: take me back to that when did you start this why did this happen two years ago? What what lightbulb made you feel like this is something worth your

Kitty Brundtner: so I always say when Sandy Hook happened, I was 25 and it was horrific. I think we all remember where we were that day. Um, but as a naive and selfish 25 year old, I just figured that the adults in the room would figure it

Nicole Walters: Oh, obviously

Kitty Brundtner: time it impacted

Nicole Walters: obviously

Kitty Brundtner: And then that didn’t happen. And so when the tragedy at Uvalde at Robb Elementary happened in May of 2022, I was completely wrecked because for the first time I could picture This impacting my life in a very real way because I was sending my oldest child to kindergarten that fall.

Kitty Brundtner: And I realized I was sending her to a mass shooting target in elementary school because I had to educate her in our country. And I remember my husband and I went overseas for a long planned trip the day after Yuvaldi Happens What’s What. All I could talk about. And we were fortunate enough to go to the French Open.

Kitty Brundtner: And so it’s this like collection, melting pot of people from across the world. So it was the only thing I could talk about. And as you remember, it was all over the news. And so people knew, right? And these are parents from France, Germany, England, Spain, New Zealand, Australia. And it was as if they all got together before talking to me and created their talking points because their feedback was the exact same.

Kitty Brundtner: They were like, I’m so sorry, we’ve seen how horrible and this will never be our reality. Like we don’t have access to guns, let alone assault weapons. So we just don’t get what you guys are doing over there. And I think that planted a seed of, we know this is an American problem, but when you get outside your bubble and realize that whole, like no one.

Kitty Brundtner: This isn’t normal, right? And then about a month later, it was the 4th of July. And, um, because of COVID, my kids had never been to a parade, and I have three young kids at the time. They were five and twin two year olds. Um, and we went to our hometown parade, and the town over from us had another parade.

Kitty Brundtner: Suddenly we’re getting calls that there’s an active shooter at the parade, the town over. And, um, you know, at first you’re like, no, no, like that must

Nicole Walters: is not even real, like, no, it’s not

Kitty Brundtner: something one off, no. And then it was very quickly, um, very sobering where we had to shelter in place from the man at large with an AR 15 who had just wreaked havoc on this day that we’re celebrating American independence, right?

Kitty Brundtner: And um, I’m getting text messages from friends that had run for their lives and one of them had shared a blanket with a now orphaned, uh, Uh, two year old whose parents brought him to a parade and didn’t come home, right? And it was the worst day. And I remember my five year old being like, in her red, white, and blue at home, Why can’t we go outside?

Kitty Brundtner: And my husband and I are, you know, in tears trying to figure out what’s going on with the news in the other room. And in my head, I’m like, The reason you can’t go outside on the Fourth of July is because I’m raising you in America. That’s why. And so for 24 hours it was, it was despair and like this is

Nicole Walters: Mm hmm, Mm

Kitty Brundtner: And still it was the worst 24 hours. And then I just got pissed and spicy. And if people know me, they know that that doesn’t take a lot for me to get opinionated about something. And I’m like, okay. So I start talking to the internet as one does, and I’m like, why does someone need an AR 15?

Kitty Brundtner: What am I missing? Is there something that like is requiring this to be a part of our lives?

Nicole Walters: Can I just, like, pause for a second and say I appreciate this energy of, of, of people Your first step was actually research. Like, why is this a thing?

Nicole Walters: And I think that that’s something a lot of us are missing because we’re so caught up in our own values and experiences where we just say, Well, I always grew up with guns. Well, I always, you know, this is what it was. Like, I mean, you know, I’m African. Like, hunting or, you know, kind of being involved in your environment.

Nicole Walters: Like, it’s just not, culturally, guns are not part of our culture in that sense.

Kitty Brundtner: way,

Nicole Walters: But it’s, that’s, it’s not unusual, you know, to be able to interact in that way. You know, so I think it’s interesting to hear that your first response with your spicy feisty nature, right, you know, was what am I missing? And so you went online to get information, much like some people are listening right now who are saying, look, like I didn’t know this stuff, you know, so what were you looking up?

Kitty Brundtner: I was, I was trying to educate myself on like how the government works, like if we wanted to do this or why hasn’t this been done or what am I

Nicole Walters: you know about the ban

Kitty Brundtner: no, I didn’t. What I like to say is like, I voted. That was my, I wasn’t hiding under a rock, but I stayed on the sidelines and shame on me on a lot of issues.

Nicole Walters: if it’s shame on you, then it’s shame on all of us because I think a lot of us are just we think that that’s our civic duty, you know, like we’re content to live our lives, you know, so I think that’s We all feel that

Kitty Brundtner: yeah, but I think like I sidelined myself because I’m like, well, I, I, I couldn’t possibly write. I don’t know.

Nicole Walters: big and I don’t know what to do and

Kitty Brundtner: I don’t have that

Nicole Walters: actually designed for us to be able to participate.

Kitty Brundtner: Yes. Which I didn’t realize, but I just, I’m like, I would look at things and be like, well, I’m not smart enough for that. I don’t understand that.

Nicole Walters: Or it’s too big.

Kitty Brundtner: got

Nicole Walters: Yeah. Yeah.

Kitty Brundtner: so as I started just being like, all right, I’m going to figure like, I just want to understand what am I missing? Because clearly there must be something.

Nicole Walters: Of course.

Kitty Brundtner: And I remember talking to friends that I had that worked on the Hill and they’re kind of like, well, here’s the deal.

Kitty Brundtner: This, this, this. I’m like, does Congress work? Well, what my first question was, can the president create an executive order to ban assault weapons?

Nicole Walters: I don’t know, can he?

Kitty Brundtner: he? No, we are not. We’re not a dictatorship. It won’t stand. Um, and I’m like, well, that, okay. When you say it like that, that makes

Nicole Walters: I love that you’re like, what is the fastest way to get what I want? If I can just text this guy and be like, hey, can you just issue a thing and then we can be done? Because this is, I have anxiety and I’ve got twins. This is so mom.

Kitty Brundtner: it’s mom, but it’s like privileged white woman, like, Okay, just like, let me know

Nicole Walters: I hear you. Who do I need to call? Find me a manager right

Kitty Brundtner: know it’s a white man. Find me the white man.

Nicole Walters: Right now.

Kitty Brundtner: And so I, I started asking that, but the answer is no.

Kitty Brundtner: Congress passes laws. I’m like, hey, good to know. I must’ve fallen asleep in that civics class or whatever. And so, as we start, as I started getting this information, I started getting even more like this echo chamber was louder and louder of people like, I know this is insane, etc. And so I asked. I think I want to go to DC and scream at the top of my lungs that I want a federal ban on assault weapons.

Kitty Brundtner: Does anyone want to come? I understand it’s going to be hard. I understand it’s a long shot. I have to do something. I have to start somewhere.

Nicole Walters: to put this somewhere right now. Yeah.

Kitty Brundtner: And I published my email address and I went to bed. And then I woke up to 300 emails. And, like, for the first time in 48 hours, I was crying tears of, like, hope instead of just complete despair and devastation.

Kitty Brundtner: And it was people from across the country, like, Hey, I work on the Hill. I can help you. Oh, I work in PR. I can help you. Oh, I do event planning. I can help you. So this organization was founded two days after a massacre and, right, and on the backs of many, many other tragedies, right? This has been building.

Kitty Brundtner: Um, and I remember reaching out to a lot of other orgs that already existed, like, Hey. I can

Nicole Walters: So that’s what I was going to ask you. So there are so many organizations that have some degree of task or goal related to, I’m just going to call it solving or addressing our issue around gun violence. You know, whether it is gun violence between gangs or gun violence in homes or gun usage, there’s lots of.

Nicole Walters: I’m gonna, and this is me sort of holding your feet to the fire for anyone who’s listening, you know, why are you different? What is different about March 4th that like you’re, cause I mean I’m a big proponent of put your money where it’s already working. You’re brand new, what is different about this that makes you think you’re gonna be more effective than the next

Kitty Brundtner: Totally. And like why do we need another one?

Nicole Walters: Literally, like literally though, like what is, so you saw all these people and this is great and you’re feisty, what’s different?

Kitty Brundtner: So, number one, being non partisan is actually pretty uncommon in this space.

Nicole Walters: So, me what makes you nonpartisan compared to everyone else, because people hear gun control, people hear ban. It doesn’t feel nonpartisan. There are people right now who are saying, no, if you’re trying to take away my right to have whatever gun I want, then that’s not nonpartisan.

Nicole Walters: That is liberal.

Kitty Brundtner: Fair.

Nicole Walters: Mm

Kitty Brundtner: Now, perhaps, that rhetoric, if you, if you, if all you’re doing is listening to the media then that’s maybe what you think. The reason we’re nonpartisan is because many of our supporters are from both parties or they’re like me, who’s a political atheist and I don’t believe I have a home,

Nicole Walters: hmm. And your funding isn’t from one or the other. Will you take everybody’s money who’s interested

Kitty Brundtner: Oh yeah,

Nicole Walters: Okay, good. I just wanted to make sure. Because there’s nothing that screams nonpartisan that we take everybody’s

Kitty Brundtner: Well, that was like a very big thing in the beginning is we made a very conscious effort to not fundraise on ActBlue. com where a lot of our peer organizations fundraise because I’m not here to get anyone elected. I’m not here to favor one party or the other. The fact of the matter is, It hasn’t, we haven’t reinstated this law in almost 30 years.

Kitty Brundtner: And that’s been, there’s been power shifted on both

Nicole Walters: That’s right. And

Kitty Brundtner: so I think it’s important to, I understand the, the partisan talking heads and all of that. At the end of the day

Nicole Walters: the babies. That’s what this sounds like. It sounds like you’re a mom who’s here to make sure our babies are okay.

Kitty Brundtner: Yes, and when I, and going to logic, when this law was passed, we had Democrats and some Republicans, including the support of President Ronald Reagan, written in a letter that’s published, you can find it, supporting this law.

Kitty Brundtner: And so for it to be said, for it to be said now that this is partisan is just incorrect.

Nicole Walters: just doesn’t support

Kitty Brundtner: It is

Nicole Walters: Like, like you’re actually, so you’re not even talking about modifications to the original law. You’re saying put this thing back in place that was written and supported by Ronald Reagan and also selected Democrats. Okay, so it’s just, this is, I mean, it’s basically like, Hey, we all agree that murder is illegal.

Nicole Walters: I’m pretty sure that’s nonpartisan. Okay. So this is like a similar concept.

Kitty Brundtner: I go into meetings on the Hill, and we mostly meet with Republicans because they are less likely to be out front on this issue because of the past two decades of this rhetoric.

Kitty Brundtner: And where we start is, I think we can all agree that we don’t want to see children being murdered in school. Right? We may not agree on the solution to fix that, but let’s start there. And that’s where I’m going to my 15 year sales career of, if I walked into my clients or prospective customers offices and was like, you’re using this vendor?

Kitty Brundtner: That’s stupid. You’re doing this wrong. They’re not going to work with

Nicole Walters: Of course not. Of course not.

Kitty Brundtner: so it’s like how, and I’m not meeting with them once. I’ve now met with over 400 offices and we meet with them multiple times. Like, you build relationships with people, you bring them closer to the middle. I think a really interesting fact when you think about public policy is that it follows public sentiment.

Kitty Brundtner: It doesn’t follow it as fast as we would like. But if you look

Nicole Walters: as long as we get their lives will be saved, correct? Mm-Hmm.

Kitty Brundtner: and I do a lot of reading on, because all we have is history of like, how does change happen? Because to me, from a logic and data perspective, we agree on this. Majority of America agrees that we don’t have tanks in our driveways and we don’t need assault weapons in our homes.

Nicole Walters: Mm-Hmm.

Kitty Brundtner: Couple quick things on that. This law will not, will not. take anyone’s guns away. So this is by definition, not a gun grab. Any legally owned assault weapon is grandfathered in. So it’s like, we’re talking about the future sale and manufacturer of assault weapons that we know to be the mass shooter’s weapon of choice.

Kitty Brundtner: And we’d like to mitigate that. So that’s one piece. The other piece.

Nicole Walters: not put new weapons into the hands of new babies who want to be new shooters. Makes sense to me.

Kitty Brundtner: start somewhere that we can, you know, agree on. Um, the other thing you mentioned is, is the bill. There’s now, for the first time in almost 30 years, there’s two different pieces of legislation that could accomplish the same thing. And when you look at the government, which I’ve had to learn a lot about in the past two years, There’s normally dozens if not hundreds of different bills to accomplish one

Nicole Walters: Mm hmm. Mm

Kitty Brundtner: time we’ve had one. Now since November, we have a second bill that accomplishes the same thing. So that is progress. And I have to hold on to all of these little pieces of progress,

Nicole Walters: yeah. I mean, but they’re all required. I mean, these are the steps that were taken for it to come into place the first time. So, I mean, we’re headed in the right direction. And what else makes March 4th different? Because I know that when I think of other organizations, what I always hear is they want a ban and they also want training and they also want like, so what are all the things that March 4th also wants?

Nicole Walters: Reinstatement.

Kitty Brundtner: We want to reinstate the assault weapons ban and then we’re gonna stop doing this.

Nicole Walters: So you want to get out of business?

Kitty Brundtner: I would love

Nicole Walters: You want to go home?

Kitty Brundtner: put me out of business and by out of business, I mean, we’re a nonprofit and I’m a volunteer. So

Nicole Walters: right. That’s

Kitty Brundtner: me back my

Nicole Walters: That’s right. You’re like, I’m, I’m trying to not go to the hill anymore. I don’t want to talk to these people anymore.

Kitty Brundtner: But like, I think what’s important to know when you think about what’s different is that there are, gun violence to your point, has so many pieces, pieces to this puzzle to solve.

Kitty Brundtner: We’ve got red flag laws. We’ve got safe storage. We’ve got waiting periods. We’ve got, like, we have so many things to solve. to focus on. And if everything is important, then nothing is. I learned that in business and it’s very true in advocacy. And so our goal is to take the low hanging fruit of gun legislation, which is a law that already existed and worked, and bring it back.

Kitty Brundtner: And if we can help propel the movement that way, then wonderful. We’re not here to tackle all the things, and that may be a negative in some people’s eyes, and it may be a pos It, it is what it is. I think we’re playing our piece of the puzzle in a non partisan way, singularly focused, and we work with a lot of these organizations behind the scenes and I’ve gotten to know a lot of these leaders and they’re doing wonderful work and at a bunch of different levels, right?

Kitty Brundtner: There’s a lot of local and state level, um, laws that people are focused on. We are federal. It has to, guns don’t respect state lines.

Nicole Walters: Yes,

Kitty Brundtner: be federal. And so being singularly focused also helps because I have ADHD and I’m like, just tell me one thing. I can drive

Nicole Walters: Let me just drill down on that detail and get it done. So you know what’s interesting is learning more about the organization and meeting you and sort of seeing my own like fiery soul sister and get it done this, you know, uh, It also can be overwhelming when we, as regular folk, are like, Okay, so I’m all in.

Nicole Walters: You know, because I know that’s what people hearing right now are like, Oh, you’re, you’re preaching to the choir, sister. Like, these are already things that I was thinking all this time. I know already, y’all, that you are having these conversations in your home, and you’re already saying to yourself, I feel the same way.

Nicole Walters: I just didn’t realize that there was a place that wasn’t trying to do all the things, you know, and I’m letting you know, there’s a place for this, but we ain’t like you. Okay. We’re not like I’m running up to Hill and taking care of twins. And I don’t know if we, I don’t know if we can do it. I don’t know if we could do it, Katie.

Nicole Walters: So What does it look like to help or to do something to kind of head us in this direction, even if we can’t? Because sometimes we get overwhelmed.

Kitty Brundtner: Yeah,

Nicole Walters: Like, I mean, you saw this, you, you know, flew to Europe, you, you held your own like fake me out UN at a, at a tennis tourney and then came back and founded a company.

Nicole Walters: Okay, Katie, you’re different. Okay. For the rest of us. What do we do from our kitchens to help you?

Kitty Brundtner: So our whole, like, slogan, I guess you could say, is participation is required. And what’s nice is, like, participation is whatever it looks like for you. So you know that saying the best kind of sunscreen is the kind you’ll wear?

Kitty Brundtner: The best kind of participation is the kind you’ll do. So that could be following us on Instagram and just getting a little peek into, like, what we’re doing and what the updates are and what your little task of the day can

Nicole Walters: Can we also tell the truth about that, y’all, from a business standpoint? The more followers they have, the more visibility they’re going to have on the hill. Because you better believe that if there’s anything that politicians pay attention to, it’s how many people can you reach the ear of.

Kitty Brundtner: It’s so weird.

Nicole Walters: so weird, but they may not understand what the internet is, right?

Nicole Walters: But they definitely understand if you’re saying I can send one tweet and reach a million people.

Kitty Brundtner: say, oh god, I wish it was a million. We’re working on it. But you know what? I, that’s, it’s such a true thing. I remember being on the Hill and, and this is how we communicate. It’s

Nicole Walters: Mm hmm.

Kitty Brundtner: would you like us to tell our 60, 000 followers? And they’re like, oh, okay. Um, well now that we’re talking, you know,

Nicole Walters: Mm hmm.

Kitty Brundtner: bit more pressure on.

Kitty Brundtner: So yeah, participation could be following us. It will give you access to like what, but we try to just break it down. We’re not gonna, you know, put the bill in front of you. Yes. If again, my, like, The barometer is me,

Nicole Walters: Mm hmm.

Kitty Brundtner: University of Iowa grad, go Hawkeyes, but like, we’re not known for our intelligence necessarily.

Kitty Brundtner: I can talk to people, but that’s about it. And then the other thing, you know, I think there’s different steps. You could call your legislators, and we can tell you, A, who are those people? Because that’s things that maybe people don’t know, and we have a link in our bio that’ll show you who are your senators and your representative, a literal link that will click and start a conversation.

Kitty Brundtner: dialing those numbers. You don’t even have to write down a phone number. Let’s make it easy. Um, what to say in that 30 second call with a 22 year old intern. It’s not scary. I promise. Um, or even coming to the Hill with us and lobbying with us. And we just try to make this advocacy journey accessible. but I think the ultimate goal is participation.

Kitty Brundtner: When you think about the The gun violence epidemic in America, it’s easy to say, well, I don’t get involved in guns. I don’t get involved in

Nicole Walters: just have a

Kitty Brundtner: here’s the problem with that statement. Guns are the number one killer of kids in America, and they have been for two years. And so,

Nicole Walters: to that?

Kitty Brundtner: car crashes.

Nicole Walters: Wow.

Kitty Brundtner: And, more than cancer, more than cars, like, the problem with, with saying you don’t get involved is if it were any other product that killed kids at this rate, we’d pull it from the shelves,

Nicole Walters: Oh my gosh, baby formula? I mean, we have recalls just in case. We’re like, hey, we found out that we had two cans of something that did something weird, and so we pulled every item from the shelf. You cannot have it anymore.

Kitty Brundtner: But the same weapon is used, being purchased legally, in all of these mass shootings. And we’re like, well, it’s not the time to talk about it. It is. It’s a product. The Second Amendment is sound, but it is not unlimited. And that’s the whole point here, is we believe in the right to bear arms.

Nicole Walters: basically talking about moderation. You know, which is, is, it’s really interesting because, I mean, the more that I have been involved in this conversation, it just is, y’all, it’s in such keeping with everything we talk about, about grace, about recognizing that we’re imperfect, about doing our best with what we’ve got.

Nicole Walters: This is not about showing up and being superheroes. This is not about perfect solutions. This is literally saying, look, I am not going to instantly become a gluten free, vegan, you know, wheatgrass shot drinking. two a day workout person if I’m eating donuts every day, but your girl can eat a salad because it is one step in one direction.

Nicole Walters: And I really appreciate that, you know, and you guys know I’m always trying to elevate voices and find people that allow us to create change with grace. And that really sounds like what you’re trying to do here is just a graceful solution that can make a difference.

Kitty Brundtner: Yeah.

Kitty Brundtner: And, and it’s, again, it’s a low hanging fruit. Like we already had it. This isn’t new. And I think that’s the best thing is

Nicole Walters: And actually what’s interesting is we already had it and anyone listening right now, you know, unless you are, you know, 12, you know, like you pretty much grew up and benefited from a time where this existed. That is real.

Kitty Brundtner: the thing. I think about my high school career and I never did a lockdown drill. We did tornado

Nicole Walters: drill. I didn’t even know what a lockdown drill

Kitty Brundtner: Right. You can’t prevent tornadoes. So we did tornado drills. But now we’ve got this generation that is coined generation lockdown and what they know to be normal is drills to hide. we have easy access to weapons. That’s just why. Yes, we have mental health issues. So does the rest of the country, or the world. The rest of the world hasn’t cured mental illness. there’s something, right, again, this is logic.

Nicole Walters: all humans. So

Kitty Brundtner: is the problem. It’s not all guns, I understand, but can we limit the access to the ones that create the most damage that you actually cannot use in hunting because you cannot eat the animal that you shoot with an AR 15 if it explodes?

Nicole Walters: That makes so much I mean, honestly, it’s like, man, we wish they didn’t even exist at all, so that we wouldn’t even have this conversation. Because you can still have a whole war and not have, you know, assault weapons. But, yeah, all the

Kitty Brundtner: yeah, I think when you think about like the, the benefits and stuff, I think that’s another really interesting point real quick is when we go to the Hill and we meet with these offices, oftentimes you’re meeting with their staffers that manage these

Nicole Walters: sure.

Kitty Brundtner: And what we’ve noticed is we’re meeting with a lot of these graduates of the Generation Lockdown.

Kitty Brundtner: And so, And so even in, in Republican offices, right, these are people saying, well, yeah, this makes

Nicole Walters: Mm hmm.

Kitty Brundtner: to explain it as a theoretical, like they’ve lived it.

Nicole Walters: I hate to say it, but y’all, Gen Z has babies now. I remember for me as a millennial, I was like, oh, Gen Z’s the young ones? No, no, no. Gen Alpha’s driving. Gen Z has babies. We are the olds. Okay? So now that we are officially the olds, we’ve got this, this Gen Z generation that literally does not, they were born in 2002, so they weren’t in school.

Nicole Walters: Mm hmm. when this ban was in effect. So they only know drills. They only know school shootings. And what’s amazing is we can create a world. And this is what you’re building. And I applaud you for every single day, Kitty, a world where our grandchildren. are able to go to school and not have lockdown drills.

Kitty Brundtner: Totally. Totally. And the thing is like, I wish it was just schools, you know,

Nicole Walters: anywhere. Yeah,

Kitty Brundtner: it’s just when you look at this, like concerts, I haven’t been to a movie

Nicole Walters: movie theater. You know, things like that. And I

Kitty Brundtner: recently a bowling alley.

Nicole Walters: bowling alley. I mean, and I, I posted recently on a trip, uh, that whenever I go and stay in my hotel room, I bring like some sort of extra secure lock for my door. Um, it’s just something I do. I travel a lot and, you know, it’s just being mindful, even if, because, I mean, heck, I’ve had people come in to the wrong room, you know, or it’s been, or housekeeping coming in early.

Nicole Walters: So I was showing kind of how I jury reg a hanger in order to kind of double lock my doors. And what was interesting, and I will never forget this, and I wanted to tell you and all of you that are listening, I had a teacher comment. And a teacher said, Hey, I just want you to know that, uh, we had someone come in who, uh, taught us that if you have one of those doors that has the sort of, uh, bendy hinge at the top, you can actually just use like a tie or a belt and just tie it around that, and that’ll actually keep the door jammed a lot better than a hanger.

Nicole Walters: And, you know, I’m a teacher and they taught us that for our classroom. And here I was, because I don’t have lockdown drills, having what was quote unquote a normal interactive conversation where she was offering an enhancement on how to barricade a door. And this is a teacher who teaches kindergarten, and she learned this about her classroom.

Nicole Walters: And my response to that, there are lots of, you know, people who respond to the comment, they’re like, oh, thank you, or that’s good, or that’s interesting. And my response to that, and where I want to leave all of us here today was, I’m really sorry. that you know that information. And I’m grateful that you shared it with me today, but I really hope that there’s a world where you will never need that.

Nicole Walters: And you will never have to reteach that because that is not what our teachers should be

Kitty Brundtner: No. They didn’t sign up for this.

Nicole Walters: And Kitty, I’m so grateful and thankful to you for being here today teaching us and getting to Capitol Hill and teaching them. And I cannot wait until you are so entirely unemployed from this profession and staying home every single day.

Nicole Walters: and I just want to say thanks for my grandchildren in advance. because they’re going to be safe and they’re going to grow and they’re going to thrive. So I appreciate and I see you in all you do and I’m here to support you in any way possible. And I know everyone here is going to follow and do all the things.

Kitty Brundtner: Thank you. You’re the best.

Nicole Walters: You’re the best. And y’all, um, you know, you can definitely follow, you can donate because, you know, time, treasure, all matters. but all the details will be below in the show notes because participation is required.

In this episode, Kitty and I chat about:
  • The singular issue that March Fourth is advocating for,
  • assault weapon ban,
  • Why Kitty felt called to fight for this issue,
  • How you can help this American crisis, and
  • How March Fourth is calling for change with grace
Resources and links mentioned in this episode:
  • Follow and support March Fourth HERE!
  • Let’s connect over on Instagram and Facebook!
  • Grab my New York Times Bestselling memoir, Nothing is Missing, HERE!
  • Book a 20 min call to see if working together is the right next step for you!
  • There is something becoming socially acceptable that we need to talk about, friend! Listen here or watch here
  • I love reading your reviews of the show! You can share your thoughts on Apple here!
More about The Nicole Walters Podcast:

If you’re looking for the strategies and encouragement to pursue a life of purpose, this is the podcast for you! Week after week Nicole Walters will have you laughing hysterically while frantically taking notes as she shares her own personal stories and answers your DMs about life, business, and everything in between.

As a self-made multimillionaire and founder of the digital education firm, Inherit Learning Company, Nicole Walters is the “tell-it-like-it-is” best friend that you can’t wait to hang out with next.

When Nicole shows up, she shows OUT, so tune in each week for a laugh, a best friend chat, plus the strategies and encouragement you need to confidently live a life of purpose.

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