Posted on December 17, 2015
What Republicans can actually do to make us safer
This week marks three years since 20 first graders and six educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
Since Sandy Hook, gun violence has continued unabated in the United States because Congress has done nothing to prevent it.
Republicans in Congress offer their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims and their families each time there’s a mass shooting, but they consistently fail to act to make Americans safer. Just one day after the horrific shootings in San Bernadino, California, Senate Republicans voted to block four gun control bills that could actually begin to address gun violence.
It’s past time for Congress to consider a meaningful package of gun control reforms, including an assault weapons ban and universal background checks. But breaking the NRA’s chokehold on Congress will require massive amounts of grassroots pressure demanding a real change.
That’s why over 90,000 CREDO Action members have signed a petition telling Republicans that “thoughts and prayers” are no substitute for real gun control legislation. You can join us by signing the petition.
It’s outrageous that Republicans are so eager to fearmonger and race bait on behalf of our “safety” but refuse to do anything to combat the epidemic of gun violence that kills more than 33,000 Americans every year. If Republicans actually want to make us safer, they must do everything they can to pass a comprehensive package of gun control reforms, including a bill to close the NRA-backed terror gap which has allowed more than 2,000 people on the terror watch list to purchase guns since 2004.
Policies like blocking refugees and discriminating against refugees based on their religion are especially offensive when there is legislation that Congress could pass right now to actually reduce gun violence. The Senate could:
- Close the terror gap by allowing the Department of Justice to block guns sales to anyone on the terror watch list. Between 2004 and 2014, more than 2,000 people on the list purchased guns in the U.S.
- Close the loophole that allows people to buy guns without undergoing background checks through private sales, at gun shows and online. An estimated 40% of all firearms transferred in the U.S. are transferred by unlicensed individuals not required to conduct background checks on buyers.
- Ban convicted domestic abusers and stalkers from buying guns. Abused women are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if that individual has access to a firearm.
- Prohibit the manufacture of assault weapons and “large capacity” magazines for civilian use.
In 2014 alone, the gun lobby spent over $30 million on political advertising and lobbying to influence legislators in Congress and state capitals across the country. If Republicans really want to protect Americans, they need to break their blind allegiance to the NRA and pass gun control legislation. But they’ll never act unless we force them.