Durbin: NRA CEO missing the point “completely”
The only unpopular policy idea to help stop gun violence is the only one that’s really been enacted since the Newtown school shooting. A Pew Research Center poll released Monday finds that a majority of Americans support eight of the major gun-related proposals floated both nationally and at the state and schoolboard level since the December shooting: background checks for all gun sales, blocking the mentally ill from buying guns, a federal gun sale database, armed guards or police in schools, a semi-automatic weapons ban, an assault-style weapons ban, a high capacity magazine ban, and a ban on buying ammo online. That’s right, even the National Rifle Association’s proposal to put an armed officer in every single one of America’s 99,000 public schools has the support of 64 percent of Americans. But a majority opposes the one gun-related proposal that seems to have the most momentum — 57 percent of Americans oppose giving teachers and school officials guns in in schools.
Dear fellow Americans,
Two years ago today, a mentally ill young man shot me in the head, killed six of my constituents, and wounded 12 others. My recovery has been tough, but I’ve worked very hard, and I feel lucky to be with my family and have this opportunity to do something important for my country.
Since that terrible day, America has seen 11 more mass shootings, but no plan from Congress to reduce gun violence. After the massacre of 20 children and six of their teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary, however, it’s clear: This time must be different.
As moderate, gun owners and victims of gun violence, we know there are some common sense things this country can do to reduce gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership. And we’re not alone. The vast majority of Americans – including three-quarters of NRA members – support efforts that promote responsible gun ownership. But a gun lobby driven by an extreme ideological fringe has used big money and influence to stop Congress from acting.
That’s why, today, we are inviting you to join us as we launch Americans for Responsible Solutions. Our leaders must take action to reduce gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership. Please encourage your family and friends to join the conversation by sharing Americans for Responsible Solutions now.
We can’t take back the bullet that went through my head or fill the 20 empty beds in a Newtown neighborhood, but we can come together right now to prevent future tragic shootings.
Gabreille Giffords & Mark Kelly
From Alaska to Florida, gun sales across the country are going through the roof, with thousands buying up ammunition, high-powered semiautomatic rifles and other weaponry out of concern that the federal government will enact new regulations on gun ownership. In Tennessee, officials say gun purchases likely hit an all-time high. Walmart has reportedly run out of semiautomatic rifles in five states.
And though the NRA has been roundly mocked for its public relations effort this week, officials are watching what is sure to be a flood of new cash.
Here’s why: For every gun or package of ammunition sold at participating stores, a dollar is donated to the NRA. The NRA’s corporate fundraising division has several special retail partnerships called “Add-A-Buck,” “NRA Round-Up,” and “Shooting for the Future.” In some cases, these deals allow for customers to contribute a dollar or two to the NRA at the point of purchase; others, like one with Sturm, Ruger & Co., the company led by Mike Fifer, require automatic contributions to the NRA with every purchase. Many of these retail deals are linked to the NRA’s 501(c)4 affiliate, which can, unlike other affiliates of the NRA, spend that money on political advertisements and lobbying.
Though alleged shooter in the Sandy Hook Shooting used a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle when he murdered 20 young children and six adults at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school - not five months after the same type of gun was used to kill 12 at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater - the National Rifle Association “will continue to oppose a ban on semiautomatic weapons,” the organization’s president David Keene said today on “Face the Nation.”