The extremist leadership of the NRA and the gun lobby writ large want Americans to believe that we have to make a choice: gun rights or gun safety.
This has always been a false dichotomy. Second Amendment rights go hand-in-hand with common-sense public safety measures to prevent gun violence and save lives. And Americans know it as polls consistently find that strong majorities – including gun owners and NRA members – support background checks on all gun sales.
Today current Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, who is running against Roy Blunt for U.S. Senate, proved that point. In the TV ad, a response to Blunt attacking Kander on guns, Kander tells of his military experience as an Army Captain in Afghanistan, his support for Second Amendment rights – and his support for background checks to keep guns out of dangerous hands – all while assembling his rifle blindfolded in 30 seconds.
In recent years, gun politics have evolved: Pundits and candidates have long viewed gun safety as an issue to avoid or run away from – especially in some parts of the country. But this year, candidates from both sides of the aisle, including Hillary Clinton and Republican Senator Pat Toomey, are embracing it as a winning issue. In 2016, the year of gun safety, we will finally put to rest the idea that guns are a third rail of politics, and we will dismantle the myth of the gun lobby’s electoral power.
No matter the outcome of this Senate race, this ad – and the many other candidates who are running on their support for gun safety this cycle – is a prime example of how 2016 is shaping up to be the year of gun safety.
It’s happening because Americans demand to be safe from gun violence and refuse to accept that 91 Americans are shot and killed every day and hundreds more are injured. If you’re interested in writing on the year of gun safety, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would be glad to provide you with additional examples of how candidates – Democrats and Republicans – are now running on the issue.