Can Gun-Control Opponents Create Viable Political Counterweight to NRA?


Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Az.) is the face and emotional dynamism behind a new advocacy group and separate political action committee, Americans for Responsible Solutions, dedicated to reducing gun violence, says the New York Times. The National Rifle Association has rewarded politicians who backed gun rights and firearm manufacturers and punished those who did not. After the Newtown, Ct., school shooting, several organizations stepped up efforts to sway races from the other side. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's political action committee, Independence USA, was widely credited with bringing an end to the career of Rep. Joe Baca (D-Ca.). That political action committee is now focusing on Debbie Halvorson, an ex-congresswoman who is trying to succeed former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (D-Il.)

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence ran newspaper ads against Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), who has been critical of President Obama's legislative proposals to curtail some guns. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal group, has run an ad attacking Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, for his positions on guns. These efforts are “one of the most important things that has happened,” said Dr. Garen Wintemute, director of the violence prevention research program at the University of California, Davis. “What has been completely missing is the financial counterweight to the NRA.”

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