By Bill Mefford
In the face of yesterday's gun massacre that took the lives of 59 precious souls as of this writing, and which injured over 500 people, there are so many of us wondering what we can do to stop this carnage. Perhaps the worst realization yesterday is that we left this tragedy wondering only when - when will be the next mass shooting and how long before we dole out the dreaded distinction, "deadliest shooting in US history" to the next massacre.
But one glimmer of hope yesterday is that a bill, HR 3688, which among other things, would gut long-standing regulations on gun silencers as well as open the market for the purchase of armor-piercing bullets, was pulled from the House docket. This was either due to pressure from grassroots (we encouraged calls yesterday in our blog post) or simply the horrible optics. But either way, for now, this bill is not going anywhere (though we will keep an eye out for it).
But why do these shootings keep happening? One primary reason is because we have far too many politicians in the back pocket of the NRA. Last year alone they poured over $50 million into the 2016 campaigns, including over $30 million into donald trump's ridiculous campaign.
On Monday, the day after this horrific massacre, the NRA was planning on pouring even more money into yet another politician they own and will want to control should he win the governorship of Virginia, Ed Gillespie. Because of the poor optics they have postponed running their television ads - until October 10.
The NRA isn't stupid. They know the routine. A horrible mass shooting is followed by hundreds of statements from politicians who they own with "prayers and thoughts" for the killed and wounded, followed by a few days of debate regarding how to prevent gun violence on TV by paid political pundits, followed by the public getting fatigued of hearing about it, followed by absolutely no policy change whatsoever, followed by the NRA carrying on like before on as if nothing happened. Because nothing did happen. The NRA owns this Republican Congress and so unlimited access to guns continues unabated.
The only way to stop the carnage is to break this chain described above.
And breaking the chain is what we can do this week. The NRA and Ed Gillespie is counting on this uproar fading by October 10. You and I can ensure that they do not go quietly. Starting today and every day this week, we are going to flood Ed Gillespie with calls and emails demanding that he publicly condemn the NRA for their support of unlimited access to guns and for running this ad in support of his campaign.
You can call Ed Gillespie's campaign office in Richmond at (804) 340-6154.
And you can email Ed Gillespie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you leave message, here is a sample script for your message and email:
I am calling to urge Mr. Gillespie to publicly denounce the role the NRA plays in supporting this never-ending plague of gun violence in our country. Mr. Gillespie, please publicly urge the NRA to not run ads in Virginia on October 10 and let’s find real solutions to preventing gun violence that protects public safety and keeps vulnerable people safe. The NRA is not a constructive voice in finding solutions so please publicly condemn any role they may play in your campaign. Thank you.
If you are a resident in Virginia feel free to mention that, but regardless of where you live, let's let Mr. Gillespie know that we will not allow politicians to be bought by the NRA any more.
The NRA bears so much responsibility for the epidemic of gun violence that plagues this country. They own too many politicians and it is long past time that we demand their hold over politicians come to an end. I strongly urge you to call and email today, several times today, several times every day, recruiting others to do the same until we break this vicious and deadly cycle.
This will not stop until you and I stop it. So, let's do this now.