Thursday, May 24, 2018

When It Comes To Sane Gun Policies, Who You Going To Trust? The DCCC? Gabby Giffords? Watch Out


I'm not so sure about former Education Secretary Arne Duncan idea about parents pulling their children out of school until elected officials pass stricter gun control laws. That would be alike a dream come true for conservatives who don't want kids from poor homes going to school anyway and who believe only kids from wealthy families need to be educated. I prefer a different approach. As the NY Times reported over the weekend, "The pace of new voter registrations among young people in crucial states is accelerating, a signal that school shootings this year-- and the anger and political organizing in their wake-- may prove to be more than ephemeral displays of activism."

Precisely a month ago, the Washington Post's Katie Zezima took this up as well, noting that the next battle over guns is at the ballot box. "The massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February," she wrote, sparked a renewed interest in gun control, with students who survived the attack leading rallies, marches, walkouts and pushes for gun legislation. People across the country, and the world, participated in hundreds of events demanding action on gun violence. Now, leaders are hoping the momentum from the March for Our Lives movement will lead to a more enduring next phase: getting young people to the voting booth in November, an effort to change not just policy in Washington, but the people who set it. Groups from around the country are hosting voter drives at high schools and colleges, including during widespread school walkouts on Friday, the anniversary of the 1999 massacre at Colorado's Columbine High School. They are setting up voter-registration tables at gun-control marches and are working to galvanize the nation's youngest voters around a single issue."
"By voting in the midterms, I will choose to vote for senators and representatives who do not support the NRA," said Kira Pomeranz, a senior at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, who registered to vote in February and will turn 18 in August.

The push started shortly after the Parkland shooting and was evident at last month's March for Our Lives rallies, where volunteers at numerous events, including one in New York, roamed around with clipboards asking people to register to vote. Organizations including Rock the Vote and Mi Familia Vota trained more than 400 volunteers at Georgetown Law School and then fanned them out to the rally in Washington, where they distributed federal voter-registration forms and then dropped off those that were completed. Survivors of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas also have joined voting drives across the country.

According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, 53 percent of respondents say students across the country holding rallies to call for stricter gun laws represent a lasting movement.

"Who here is going to vote in the 2018 election?" David Hogg, a Parkland survivor, asked at last month's rally in the District of Columbia. "We are going to make this a voting issue. We're going to take this to every election, to every state, to every city."

NextGen America, a liberal advocacy group founded by hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer, and gun-control advocacy groups Giffords and Everytown for Gun Safety have announced an initiative aimed at getting 50,000 teenagers registered to vote ahead of the midterm elections in November.
Giffords, huh? Giffords is a pawn of the Democratic Party-- 100%. It's VERY politically incorrect to bring it up, but before she was shot, she was a reactionary Blue Dog. Is there a reason to think she has changed? She endorses right-wing Democrats... including right-wing Democrats who are sketchy on guns and even allied with the NRA. She will always pick a conservative over a progressive. In her old district, for example, she has fulsomely endorsed Ann Kirkpatrick, long Arizona's poster girl for... the NRA. Kirkpatrick, a northern Arizona conservative, is a carpetbagger running in Tucson, and she is clearly the most conservative of serveral Democratic candidates-- and the only one who has been in bed with the NRA. Kirkpatrick suddenly claims she favors sane gun control but her record tells a different story. She welcomed the NRA convention to Phoenix by telling the delegates that "as a gun owner myself, I firmly believe in the right of all Americans to keep and bear arms, and I am proud that my state is hosting the group that has protected that right for 138 years. This is a chance for Arizonans to show our nation’s leaders we will not let them take away our freedoms... People in Washington need to stop undermining the Second Amendment. That’s why I took on the Attorney General for his proposal to ban so-called 'assault weapons.' I will continue to work vigilantly to maintain and protect our Second Amendment rights against every challenge they face." 

Giffords endorsed her this cycle instead of any of the strong NRA opponents. Giffords herself-- before the assassination attempt-- was decidedly pro-gun and actively opposed efforts that the NRA opposed. I hope these kids registering to vote don't get fooled.

And it isn't just Gabby Giffords talking out of both sides of her mouth. The DCCC is far worse. They love beating up on Republicans for being NRA shills but... The DCCC has been recruiting-- not just supporting, recruiting-- NRA allies all cycle. Jeff Van Drew (Blue Dog-NJ), Anthony Brindisi (Blue Dog-NY), New Dem Ann Kirkpatrick of course, Lauren Baer (New Dem-FL), Elaine Luria (VA) and Paul Davis (Blue Dog-KS) are all NRA/DCCC candidates. There are others in Congress already who have had long records backing the NRA and, of course, the DCCC backs them too-- from Sanford Bishop (Blue Dog-GA), Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX) and Colin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN) to Darren Soto (New Dem-FL) and Tim Ryan (would be Speaker-OH).
"This could be a turning point for us," said Mark Kelly, who founded [Americans for Responsible Solutions] with his wife, former U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) a survivor of a mass shooting. "If we're able to get 100,000 young people registered to vote and get them to show up in key places, in the right place, that could have a serious impact."

The drive will focus on young voters in 10 swing states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. Each state has candidates who are supported by the National Rifle Association on the ballot.

The groups plan to mail voter-registration forms to 18- and 19-year-olds on their birthdays, target them with online voter-registration ads and, where legal, preregister 16- and 17-year-olds to vote. The focus will be on students who will reach legal voting age by Election Day 2018.

Kelly said that after Parkland, young people are suddenly realizing that they have inherited a "pretty lousy set of circumstances" from their parents and grandparents and those who have previously been elected to office.

"And they don't like it. Who can blame them?" Kelly said.

A spokesman for NextGen said that the registration efforts are nonpartisan, but just appearing on the voter rolls would allow the groups to focus dissemination of gun-control information to the new voters and would allow candidates to reach them directly with text messages or on Facebook. The groups also are trying to do peer-to-peer recruitment, believing that the word of a friend or classmate will hold more sway than a targeted ad.

In many ways, the gun-control advocacy groups are trying to catch up with the NRA, which puts tremendous effort into elections. The group and its Institute for Legislative Action spend millions of dollars on campaign contributions, lobbying, political spending and getting its membership to vote. The group's political victory fund ranks candidates and politicians with a letter grade, and the website of the Institute for Legislative Action-- known as NRA-ILA-- allows people to check their voting status.

"Over the past few years, NRA-ILA members and the NRA have decidedly changed politics in America," the NRA-ILA's website says.

Now gun-control groups and the students who work with and support them believe they can counter that power at the voting booth.

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At 6:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The NRA and the GOP thank you for your service.

At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imagine if those Parkland survivors had a real left party or movement to join and lend their energy to...

epiphany yet? no? time's a runnin' short. you've said so yourself...

Or are you, like Giffords, talking outta your mouth and ass at the same time?

At 3:54 AM, Blogger Robert Welain said...

"A spokesman for NextGen said that the registration efforts are nonpartisan, but just appearing on the voter rolls would allow the groups to focus dissemination of gun-control information to the new voters and would allow candidates to reach them directly with text messages or on Facebook. "

There is a proof in this article, guys.

At 5:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess you can't teach a Blue Dog new thinks.


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