Week in Review

AMERICA RESPONDS TO ANOTHER MASS SHOOTING

For the second time in the last six weeks, this country has experienced one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern American history. Advocates, politicians, celebrities, and concerned Americans responded by saying that thoughts and prayers are not enough–and that our leaders must find the courage to take action.

  • New York Times Editorial — It’s Not Too Soon to Debate Gun Control: If now is too soon to debate gun control, how long must Americans wait? The New York Times Editorial Board calls out Republican leaders for their pattern of delaying effective legislation after every mass shooting. “If it is too soon to respond to Sutherland Springs, is it too soon to respond to these?”

NEW EFFORTS ON CAPITOL HILL TO TACKLE GUN VIOLENCE

Keeping Guns Out of the Hands of Domestic Abusers:

  • Costello, Rice Introduce Bipartisan Domestic Violence Bill. In this important editorial, the Boston Globe argues why the Department of Justice and the FBI should work with the military to close the data gaps on guns and bring data sharing policies into the 21st century.

  • Flake, Heinrich to Introduce Bill to Close Gun LoopholeOn Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) announced that he and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) are writing a bill that require military to report misdemeanors of domestic violence to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the database used for firearms background checks.

Proposed Ban on Assault Weapons, Bump Stocks:

  • On Wednesday, Roughly two dozen Democrats, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), introduced legislation that would ban assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines, and bump stocks, devices that can be used to make semi-automatic rifles fire faster.

GUN SAFETY WINS BIG AT THE BALLOT BOX

On Tuesday, voters made loud and clear that they are not afraid of the corporate gun lobby, and candidates who ran strong on gun safety won in races all across the country. Despite the millions of dollars spent by the gun lobby and misleading attacks from their opponents, voters proved that candidates with the courage to fight gun violence are the leaders they want in office.

Highlights are below, and you can read our full memo, here: The Unprecedented Salience Of Gun Safety At The Polls.

VIRGINIA: The NRA Took a Big Swing in Virginia and Missed. Tuesday’s election was HUGE for gun safety champions. In 13 competitive races where the Democratic candidate was endorsed by Giffords and the Republican was backed by the NRA, the Giffords candidate was victorious in 12.

  • The Washington Post — His girlfriend’s televised slaying made him run for office. He won. In a landslide victory, Chris Hurst won the 12th House District seat in Virginia against a three-term incumbent with an A rating from the NRA. “It’s not what happens on our worst day that defines us,” he said. “It’s what we do in response to it.”

  • ABC News — Gun Safety Was #2 Issue for Virginia Voters: After healthcare, guns was the second most important issue to voters who turned out on Tuesday in Virginia. Exit polls show top two issues for Northam voterstonight were healthcare and guns. Say it again. Healthcare and GUNS. It mattered more than immigration, taxes, or abortion.

NEW JERSEY: With the election of Phil Murphy, voters in New Jersey chose a Governor committed to making progress in fighting our nation’s epidemic of gun violence. They faced a clear choice between a candidate committed to making our communities safer and one who listened to the gun lobby, but Phil Murphy’s election shows that New Jersey is tired of politicians who prioritize the corporate gun lobby’s interests over the safety, and the will, of New Jersey families.

IN CITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY: Mayors committed to combating gun violence were elected in both Seattle, WA(Jenny Durkan) and Boston, MA (Marty Walsh). Both candidates ran as champions for gun safety and have committed to being leaders in the fight against gun violence.

OTHER TOP NEWS STORIES OF THE WEEK

  • The New York Times — How to Reduce Shootings: Only in the United States do we suffer such mass shootings so regularly, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A comprehensive look on how a public health approach could help reduce gun violence and make our communities safer from Nicholas Kristof.

  • NBC Think — The NRA’s Political Stranglehold is About to Be a Lot Worse: “Even more alarming than the gun lobby’s chokehold on Congress — and covered far less frequently — is the NRA’s growing clout in shaping the federal judiciary under Trump.” Read more from Giffords Chief Counsel, Adam Skaggs, on the gun lobby’s dangerous judicial agenda.

  • Associate Press — Pentagon has Known of Crime Reporting Lapses for 20 YearsThe Pentagon has known for at least two decades about failures to give military criminal history information to the FBI, including the type of information the Air Force didn’t report about the Texas church gunman who had assaulted his wife and stepson while an airman. The Air Force lapse made it possible for the Sutherland Springs shooter to buy guns before his attack on Sunday.

  • National Public Radio — Texas Shooter’s History Raises Questions About Mental Health & Mass Murder:President Trump, like many people, is pointing to mental health — not guns — as the cause of the Texas church massacre, but the statistics don’t bear this out. NPR’s Kelly McEvers explores this myth and explains why it isn’t true.

NEW RESEARCH & REPORTS

  • Are Mass Murderers Insane? Usually Not, Researchers SayWhile the gunman in the most recent Texas mass shooting was reported to have spent time in a mental hospital, experts say most killers in mass shootings are motivated by ideology or grievance rather than mental illness.

 

NEWS & ACTIVITY FROM THE STATES

  • Georgia — Giffords Endorses Stacey Abrams for Governor of Georgia: Abrams has demonstrated a strong commitment to gun violence prevention policies that help keep guns out of the wrong hands, protect the rights of law-abiding Americans and make Georgia a safer place to live. In 2014, Stacey Abrams was the first-ever recipient of the EMILY’s List Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award.

  • Michigan — Rep. Wittenberg Introduces Extreme Risk Protection Order Bill: In an op-ed for the the Detroit Free Press, Rep. Robert Wittenberg explains why he introduced the Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation in Michigan, which, among other legal recourses, would give survivors of domestic violence extra protection against gun violence at the hands of their abusers.

  • New Jersey — Gun Safety Champion Phil Murphy Elected Governor: New Jersey became the seventh state in the country where Democrats now control the legislative and executive branches with the election on Tuesday of Philip D. Murphy, who was endorsed by Giffords, as its 56th governor. He has vowed to make his state a bulwark against the policies of President Trump. “Tonight,” he said to supporters, “New Jersey sent an unmistakable message to the entire nation — we are better than this.”

  • Texas — Some in Texas Legislature Call for Rethinking State’s Gun Laws: At a news conference organized by Texas Gun Sense at the state capitol on Wednesday, some Democrats and at least one Republican in the Texas Legislature urged state leaders to declare gun violence a public health issue and reform existing gun regulations.

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