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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Don't Let Up Now Because This is Just the Beginning

The Washington Post reports this morning that the Senate's gun control bill is whitering under fierce lobbying from "firearms advocates" even one proposal that most thought was destined to become law:
Gun-control measures that seemed destined to become law after the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., are in jeopardy amid a fierce lobbying campaign by firearms advocates.

Despite months of negotiations, key senators have been unable to find a workable plan for near-universal background checks on gun purchases — an idea that polls show nine in 10 Americans support.
I really would like to see the question that is being asked to come up with the "9 out of 10" statistic.  I'm betting they simply being asked if "all gun sales" should all be subject to a background check without explaining what the process is now, or what is considered a sale or "transfer" under the proposal currently part of the Senate gun control bill, that statistic would change dramatically.  Further, it is possible that some of these are "push polls" that give leading information, like the discredited "40% of gun purchases don't go through a background check" before asking the polling question.

The article also notes that the gun ban lobby is stepping up it's lobbying efforts, but some are finding that they aren't the first to discuss the issue with targeted legislators:
Gun-control advocates are trying to match the NRA’s lobbying firepower. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a group that sprung up in the days after the Newtown shootings, has been tweeting to lawmakers and visiting their offices to press their case.

Jennifer Fiore, the group’s vice president, recalled that a recent meeting between a mother and an unnamed senior aide to a Senate Republican prompted a sharp, emotional exchange after the staff member repeatedly referred to the recordkeeping provisions in the background-check bill as akin to a national gun registry — a frequent NRA talking point.

“The mom in this office who listened to him talking about registries versus recordkeeping was so fed up with that kind of talk that she got pretty real with him, and at the end of that process I could tell he was listening to us,” Fiore recalled. “Our job is to pop the bubbles that they’re living in and remind them who their constituents are.”

But the exchange also illuminated for Fiore the extent of the NRA’s reach. “They made it into somebody’s office before I got there,” she said.
Let's make sure that the gun ban lobby finds that they have been beaten to the punch in every office, not by a member of NRA Federal Affairs, but by hundreds of thousands of gun owning constituients through our letters, emails, and phone calls.  Feel free to use this information as background for your phone calls and letters.  Besure to reference that the information came from President Obama's own research experts at the National Institute of Justice.

One other thing, now that we have a specific piece of legislation, ask your Senator to tell you specifically where they stand on S.649 and to please do you the courtesy of not replying with boilerplate language.

Finally, remember, this is only round one.  Even if we beat back this attempt, Joe Biden has already confirmed "this is just the beginning."  So we can't go back to our lives as if everything has gone back to normal.  They will be back, and next time, they may try an end around run to get what they want.

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