Everytown for Gun Safety is one of those groups that likes to claim that the NRA buys lawmakers. Anyone and everyone who fails to back their policies, it seems, gets accused of being bought by the “gun lobby.” That is, unless they just outright accuse the NRA of all kinds of illegal activites.
However, the NRA doesn’t do anything with regard to elections that every other special interest group isn’t doing.
But, if the NRA is buying lawmakers, then just what is Everytown doing?
Efforts to combat gun violence in Pennsylvania’s cities and towns have been pushed to the back of the headlines by the pandemic, the presidential campaign, and the anti-racism and pro-police reform protests still unfolding nationwide.
But one activist group wants to make sure voters remember the Legislature’s inaction on the issue as they start casting their ballots this voting season.
Today, the political wing of the anti-gun violence group Everytown for Gun Safety launches a $1.4 million digital advertising and direct mail campaign targeting a dozen state House seats, mostly in suburban Philadelphia, and a quartet of Senate seats, to flip the General Assembly to a “gun sense majority.”
While guns and ammo have been flying off the shelves during the pandemic, Pennsylvania lawmakers have left gun violence prevention measures largely untouched.
In other words, the legislature was worried about…oh, I don’t know, maybe a global pandemic that’s been credited with claiming the lives of tens of thousands of Americans so far?
You know, just throwing that out there as a possibility.
Anyway, Everytown is looking to drop $1.4 million into the election. That means a lot of digital ads and mail over the next six weeks or so, all things considered.
Now, in all seriousness, I know that this isn’t buying lawmakers. They’re backing people who already agree with them, of course, which is precisely what the NRA does. I’m just sick of them getting a pass because the media thinks they’re on the side of the angels. If this kind of spending is buying lawmakers on one side, then it’s the same thing on another.
The question is, though, will it work.
Honestly, I don’t know. Pennsylvania has historically been fairly pro-gun, but they also elected Tom Wolf to be governor and he’s done nothing but take a dump on the Second Amendment every chance he got, even encouraging Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto to ignore state preemption law. If the people of the state elected him, they might just be open to listening to Everytown.
Then again, that was a different world. The pandemic followed by riots has changed a lot of people’s opinions. Don’t be surprised if the spending backfires and simply rallies the pro-gun side even more, thus handing the state over to Republicans come November.
It’ll be interesting to watch, but my hope is that they’re wasting their money. I hope the people of Pennsylvania will rise up and remind the world that they like their guns and they support the Second Amendment. If that happens, I have no problem with Everytown losing a big chunk of change with nothing to show for it.