An amateur political cartoon created by high school student Eliza Gauger in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks. She was 17 when she drew it, and living in Bellingham, WA.

The drawing portrays the Statue of Liberty standing in a defensive posture and holding a pistol at her side. In her other arm is a baby swaddled in the American flag. She stares out at the viewer with an ambiguous expression. Her face has been described as fearful, angry, and threatening. The caption reads, "The most dangerous place in the world is between a mother and her children."

When the cartoon was posted onto a LiveJournal community by the artist a few days after the attacks, it received hundreds of replies within the next few days. E-mail began pouring in requesting the image on shirts and other paraphernalia, and Gauger complied by making Mommy Liberty available on items at CafePress. The profits were to be donated to the Red Cross.

Other artists had the same idea, and Maheesh Jain (owner of CafePress) put together a charity program in which all proceeds from sales of 9/11-related merchandise would be donated to the Red Cross. Mommy Liberty merchandise alone was quoted as being responsible for an estimated $50,000 donation. The charity program ended and was not renewed by CafePress. Sales tapered off, but Gauger still receives a small check now and then.

Mommy Liberty has been mistaken as a pro-arms sentiment (in the spirit of the NRA). The drawing has nothing to do with the personal firearms political agenda, and the gun is simply symbolic of American national defense. There is no more American a weapon than a six-shooter. Gunfighting is the American martial art.

The image has seen some circulation in an unauthorized, edited form. The gun has been removed from the picture by some anonymous person, and displayed in this abbreviated form. The artist was angered but unable to find out who was responsible.

The image was created in Corel Painter Classic using the pencil and watercolor brushes.

The image can be found here:
And the CafePress store is here:

Eliza Gauger can be reached for comment via her e-mail address.

I'm Eliza. I wrote this in third person because, frankly, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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