WEEK IN REVIEW
June 18 – June 22, 2018
Survey Data Details Voters in Key Districts to Determine House Back Candidates Who Support Strong Gun Safety Laws
A new public opinion survey shows gun safety is a winning issue in districts key to determining control of the House of Representatives. The Giffords poll looks into 38 battleground districts that are largely Republican-held. The results prove that embracing gun safety could be the difference-maker for Democrats in key swing districts, particularly because support for stronger gun laws remains high and the National Rifle Association’s favorability is on a downward trend.
In the Republican-leaning districts highlighted in the survey, Democrats lead in the generic ballot jumps from 3 points to 10 points when the debate on gun violence prevention is added in.
Per Axios: “There has been a significant shift in Americans’ likeliness to consider a candidate’s stance on gun laws, and these results indicate that many want more action on the issue from those politicians already in office.”
LEADING THE NEWS
Though the topics of immigration and separating children from their families at the southern U.S. border are captivating the country’s attention, the issue of gun violence has not gone away, as shown by the crowd that gathered at an event for Democratic congressional candidate David Shapiro on Thursday. At Five Points Park in Sarasota, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords joined Shapiro for a half-hour rally on gun violence. The Sarasota attorney is running for his party’s nomination to challenge Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key. Giffords survived an assassination attempt during a meet-and-greet in Tuscon in 2011, where six people died. Seven years later she is still dealing with the ripple effects of a gunshot to the head that partially paralyzed her on her right side and affected her speech. Though she left Congress a year after the shooting, she continues to campaign for gun control through the nonprofit in her name, which endorsed Shapiro in March.
There are over 1 billion firearms in the world today, including 857 million in civilian hands — with American men and women the dominant owners, according to a study released Monday. The Small Arms Survey says 393 million of the civilian-held firearms, 46 percent, are in the United States, which is “more than those held by civilians in the other top 25 countries combined.” “The key to the United States, of course, is its unique gun culture,” the report’s author, Aaron Karp, said at a news conference. “American civilians buy an average of 14 million new firearms every year, and that means the United States is an overwhelming presence on civilian markets.”
Chicago anti-violence activists and a group of Florida high school shooting survivors fanned out across the city’s South Side on Saturday, knocking on doors and registering people to vote in a bid to build support for changing the nation’s gun laws. Ryan Deitsch, 18, from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where 17 people died on Feb. 14, said the tragedy has afforded the survivors a national spotlight they are now using to try and build a groundswell of support… On Friday, a joint rally was held at an area church. The event featured Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was gravely wounded in a 2011 shooting. She told the crowd to vote on Election Day to effect the change they want. Entertainers Jennifer Hudson, Chance the Rapper and will.i.am also appeared. “We need to vote people in who will speak for us, or take them out if they are not,” said activist Ke’Shon Newman, 16, of Chicago.
Under the Radar
The National Rifle Association uses a number of tools to ensure that lawmakers support its priorities. One is money, of course; the political arm of the organization spent more than $50 million in the 2016 election cycle. Another is report cards. The NRA gives candidates for office a letter grade indicating how good (or bad) the lawmaker is on gun issues. In the estimation of the NRA, an A-plus grade indicates that a lawmaker would be highly unlikely to support new gun restrictions. A lawmaker who regularly backed new gun laws probably would earn an F.
After the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that ended the lives of 17 people, a number of corporations took high-profile measures to reduce their own participation in the underregulated gun market. Dick’s Sporting Goods stopped selling assault weapons. Both MetLife and Delta Air Lines ended discount programs for NRA members. Citigroup announced new restrictions on its business banking customers in March. For clients who sell guns, Citigroup requires background checks on all sales, a ban on bump stocks and high-capacity magazines and a ban on sales to those under 21.
Facebook will soon prevent minors from viewing ads for gun accessories such as holsters, or magazines. The move comes amidst renewed focus on gun violence in the United States following school shootings in Santa Fe, Texas, Parkland, Florida, and others. According to a Facebook spokesperson, the company already bans ads for guns and modifications, but sellers can post ads for accessories such as gun-mounted flashlights, scopes, holsters, gun cases, gun paint, or slings. The company isn’t going to prohibit those ads, but it will require sellers to “restrict their audiences to at least 18 years of age or over.” The company’s listed advertising policies don’t currently list the age restriction — that will change when the policy will take effect on June 21st.
Data and Reports
- In the Republican-leaning districts highlighted in the survey, Democrats lead in the generic ballot jumps from 3 points to 10 points when the debate on gun violence prevention is added in.
- Voters across ideologies support stronger gun laws. 65 percent support stronger gun laws and 48 percent of voters have become more supporter of stronger gun laws over the past few years.
- Congress should act to prevent gun violence. 63 percent of voters are more concerned about Congress not doing anything to address gun violence. Only 37 percent are more concerned about Congress going too far in restricting access to guns.
- The attackers, who almost always were men or boys, typically attacked places that were familiar to them. They had acted in ways that concerned the people around them ahead of the attacks, with many expressing a desire to carry out violent acts.
- The study found that 77 percent of attackers spent a week or longer planning their violence
- Most used guns they acquired legally, oftentimes buying the weapons specifically for their attacks, the study concluded.
Members of several gun rights and hunting groups are asking the Oregon Supreme Court to change the ballot title for an initiative that would require owners to store the weapons with trigger locks or in a locked container. The proposal would also require owners to directly supervise any child using a gun and report lost or stolen firearms to the police within 24 hours of when they knew, or should have known, it was missing. Anyone who ignored the storage requirement would be liable for injuries caused using the weapon, unless the injury resulted from self-defense or defense of another person.
Some gun rights advocates have set their sights on Texas. That has made the Lone Star State the next battleground for constitutional carry, which would let Texans carry their weapons — openly or concealed — without first getting a permit. “People talk about taking your guns away to protect you from yourself or others,” Tim Macy, chairman of Gun Owners of America, told a group gathered at the Republican Party of Texas state convention Friday in San Antonio. “If these are good ideas, to take your guns away in any manner, why is it OK for (officials such as congressional leaders) to be so protected?”
Delaware lawmakers unanimously approved “red flag” legislation to create a lethal violence protection order that could take away someone’s firearms if deemed a threat to themselves or others. On Tuesday, the Senate passed House Substitute for House Bill 222, a measure that allows law enforcement officers to obtain an emergency lethal violence protective order against a person if a Justice of the Peace Court deems them a danger of causing physical injury by owning, possessing, controlling, purchasing, or receiving a firearm. “Dozens of gun deaths happen each year that might have been prevented if law enforcement and loved ones could have intervened sooner and removed firearms from a dangerous situation. A lethal violence protective order will reduce access to guns and help prevent some of these tragedies,” said State Representative David Bentz, the bill’s primary sponsor.”
Gov. Cuomo said Tuesday he doesn’t expect any more major pieces of legislation to pass this year, including his own proposal to allow cops, family members and school employees to “flag” gun owners who could be a danger to themselves or others. The governor told reporters that significant bills passed with the state budget and the political climate are too tense to accomplish any more before the Legislature adjourns for the year Wednesday.
The fate of gun-control bills moved out of the House judiciary committee earlier in the week was up in the air Thursday as advocates for the measure worried that lawmakers will leave for the summer without taking action on the proposals. The bills hanging in the balance include measures to close a loophole that advocates for domestic violence victims say allows abusers to gain access to their guns. Other bills that moved to the full House this week include a bump-stock ban and legislation to create an extreme risk protection order to allow relatives to get a judge to cut off access to firearms if an individual appears to pose a risk of violence.
TOP SOCIAL MEDIA
“Something is happening across this country—young people are rising up, and they are taking control!” ✊🏿✊🏽✊🏻
— Giffords (@GiffordsCourage) June 20, 2018
— March For Our Lives (@AMarch4OurLives) June 20, 2018
JUST ONE WEEK LEFT in our effort to #BanBumpStocks, and we can’t let up now.
The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms accepts comments through June 27. Add your comment now 👇 https://t.co/zMv1eAy2ou
— Giffords (@GiffordsCourage) June 20, 2018
We are all responsible for the actions of our country. This recording is heart-wrenching and deeply disturbing. It should motivate every American to demand answers and action. https://t.co/E5fyUbB1K0
— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) June 19, 2018