Gun safety will play a pivotal role in the upcoming elections in Texas, according to reporting from Reuters. Thanks to advocacy from groups like Everytown and Moms Demand Action, gun safety is now a winning issue in elections up and down the ballot — a trend most recently seen in the landmark election that flipped the Virginia statehouse to a gun sense majority.
Reuters’ Brad Brooks writes:
“Texas Democrats are pulling out a new playbook in this year’s Congressional races, loudly backing gun control in a bet a strategy that paid off in Virginia can also win elections in a conservative-leaning state long associated with gun rights.
Their fears of facing a political backlash for supporting gun regulations have evaporated after years of mass shootings, with candidates, party officials and gun-control advocates arguing that making the case for strengthening gun laws will win them more votes.
One of the biggest reasons for the apparent lessening blowback on the issue is the emergence of powerful national groups calling for tougher gun regulations, particularly the Mike Bloomberg-backed Everytown for Gun Safety, which has countered the National Rifle Association pro-gun lobby.
Everytown spent $2.5 million on the campaigns that led Democrats to win control of both chambers of the Virginia state legislature in November, and officials with the group said they plan to spend more in Texas, without specifying numbers.
‘We see gun safety as a winning issue in Texas as the state becomes younger and more diverse and because there has been a huge amount of gun violence in the state,’ said Shannon Watts, founder of the Moms Demand Action group, which is affiliated with Everytown.”
A poll released last week by the Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler found that a majority of Texans support common-sense gun laws and don’t believe elected officials have done enough to prevent mass shootings.