On Saturday, I received a fundraising call from a nice man representing the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which works to elect Democrats to the U.S. Senate. He started by thanking me for my past support. Ten seconds into his pitch, I interrupted and informed him that from now on my contributions will go to candidates who fully support sensible gun safety regulations. Now that my eyes have been opened, gun safety will never again be a back-burner issue for me.
Recently, the Senate voted on seven amendments aimed at strengthening federal gun laws, including expanded background checks, banning high-capacity magazines and banning assault weapons. All of them failed, in part due to the influence of the powerful pro-gun lobby.
The NRA membership includes about 4 million ordinary Americans who have presumably embraced Wayne LaPierre and the NRA’s paranoid and distorted world view. But whom does the NRA truly represent? According to a 2011 study by the Violence Policy Center, since 2005 the NRA has received as much as $38.9 million from gun and ammunition manufacturers and sellers, including Beretta USA, Glock and Ruger. Under the phony guise of protecting Second Amendment rights and opposing “tyranny,” the NRA and their allies oppose any and all firearm regulations. These absurd arguments are aimed at distracting us from the real problem of gun violence and lining the pockets of the gun industry.
Recent editorials have angrily shouted “Shame on you!” to U.S. senators for their recent votes. I say “Shame on us.” Shame on us for our collective failure to stand alongside our neighbors in Aurora, Newtown and communities throughout America — neighbors who have lost their loved ones due to senseless acts of gun violence.
Before you decide where you stand, think it through.
The next time it may happen to you.