by weeklysift, 3/26/18
Either represent the people or get out. Stand for us or beware. The voters are coming.
— Cameron Kasky, survivor of the Stoneman Douglas shooting
This week everybody was talking about the March for Our Lives
The Washington Post estimates that “hundreds of thousands” of protesters marched on Washington Saturday to demand an end to gun violence. Hundreds of satellite demonstrations were held around the country. Mayor Bill de Blasio estimated New York City’s march at 175K. Even a capital as small as Montpelier, Vermont saw 2,500 marchers.
Time magazine has assembled “the most powerful speeches” from the rally.
This march, like the nationwide school walkout on March 14, rises out of the Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland, Florida on February 14.
I suspect Congress will do little to respond, though there are little tidbits in the spending package passed this week: For example, the ban on federal research into gun violence has ended. (Or has it?) The full significance of marches like this won’t be felt until the fall elections, which should challenge the widespread belief that it’s political suicide to challenge the NRA. Maybe we’ll see that there are large regions of the country where it has become political suicide to get too close the NRA. That would change things….
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Wouldn’t you think the National Rifle Association, after so many massacres in the Age of Trump, would have the good taste to keep a low profile in the 2017 elections? Nope, NRA has sent its members a postcard endorsing every single Republican candidate for statewide judiciary. Download it here: NRA 2017 endorsed j candidates.
The card purports to advance “Freedom First.” But we know that most voters, including many NRA members, place a high value on gun violence prevention and on the freedom of going to churches and concerts without fear of being shot.
The moral is clear: if you want a state judiciary that is not beholden to the NRA, and that will do its job of fairly scrutinizing gun-related legislation, vote for the Democrats.
FYI, here is the Chester County Democratic Committee’s position on guns:
The constitution gives Americans the right to own guns for self-defense, but
government has the duty to protect its citizens from those who are irresponsible
in their handling of firearms, who are mentally unfit to own guns, who would buy
weapons capable of mass killing, or who incite or carry out violence against
Excerpts from “Have your representatives in Congress received donations from the NRA?,” by Aaron Williams, Washington Post, updated Oct. 5, 2017. (Note that organizations, like corporations, have ways other than direct contributions to support office-holders, such as encouraging contributions by individuals, channeling money through trade associations and “issue groups” that preserve anonymity, etc. Naturally in areas like Chester County which favor gun violence prevention, recipients of NRA funding would prefer it be off the record.)
The above is from “Thoughts and Prayers and N.R.A. Funding” by By DAVID LEONHARDT, IAN PRASAD PHILBRICK and STUART A. THOMPSON, New York Times, OCT. 4, 2017. Smucker is 7th on NRA’s recipient list in the US House, based on career totals. This is all the more impressive after serving 8 years in the PA legislature and now in only his first year in the US House.