A prominent progressive advocacy group is soliciting funds to back up a plan to support the initiatives President Obama announced Wednesday to reduce the nation’s gun violence.
In an email to supporters, MoveOn.org says its efforts are aimed at push the gun control efforts past the muscle of the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun-control opponents.
The president unveiled the new gun control measures–including mandatory background checks for all gun buyers, a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, more money for mental health, and stronger enforcement of the laws currently on the books–in response to the schoolhouse massacre in December of young children and others in Newtown, Conn.
“It took a horrifying, unthinkable tragedy to put guns back on the agenda. But we finally have a real chance to put some sanity into America’s gun laws,” the MoveOn.org email says. “This won’t be easy. The NRA, backed by major funding from the gun industry, is already pouring money into a gutless TV ad campaign smearing President Obama as an ‘elitist hypocrite.’
“But after President Obama’s announcement today, there’s no going back. We have to go big. We’re aiming to raise $200,000 today to beef up our grassroots campaign to pressure members of Congress and politicians at every level of government to get them on board with the president’s plan,” the email adds.
MoveOn.org says its campaign to support new gun control consists of three parts:
1. An on-the-ground grassroots organizing onslaught to counter the NRA’s network. Tomorrow, in more than 200 communities and every major city, Community Committees Against Gun Violence are meeting to create action plans for winning gun violence prevention legislation—and beating the NRA—city halls, state capitols, and Washington.
Here’s an example of the kind of actions we’ll be planning: MoveOn members organized a gun show protest this past weekend in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. They held a vigil in remembrance of Sandy Hook, followed by speeches from an elementary school student, a veteran, and local elected officials calling for action to reduce gun violence. We need to pay for organizers and local ads to make sure communities know what’s happening and how they can participate in powerful actions like this.
2. A communications strategy to elevate voices and campaigns of gun violence prevention activists. We’ll promote more activists like MoveOn member Maria Roach, whose petition against the gun lobbyists’ “Gun Appreciation Day” has garnered national attention and led to an embarrassing and offensive statement from the chief organizers of the event.
More people stepped up to take action on gun violence after Sandy Hook than in any other single moment in MoveOn’s history. We’ll help them tell their stories in local and national media, and make it easy for you to share the stories online.
3. An over-the-air multimedia campaign to bust the NRA’s myths. The NRA’s leaders and lobbyists have been misleading the public and members of Congress for a generation. It’s time to tell the truth, and we’re ready to do it. We’ll make and distribute videos and materials that reveal just how loophole-ridden our gun laws are and how we have to fix them to save lives.