Dear MoveOn member,
Are we finally ready to take on the National Rifle Association?
The NRA's power has long been an explanation—and an excuse—for why we can't pass serious gun violence prevention laws in America.
But in the wake of Sandy Hook, something has shifted. Maybe it's the polls showing a 18-point jump in support for stronger laws.1 Or the fact that most gun owners and NRA members disagree with the NRA's policy agenda.2 Or the bizarre press conference by Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's CEO, where he called for more guns in schools.3
Whatever the reason, it's suddenly clear that the NRA ISN'T all-powerful. Yes, they spend a boatload of money on lobbying and elections—but so did Big Tobacco, and laws limiting smoking are now commonplace. Public opinion matters. The NRA can't block an idea whose time has come.
The Obama Administration and state-level elected officials around the country are debating how ambitious their reforms can be. We urgently need to keep the NRA on its heels—to prevent them from regaining the upper hand in setting the agenda. So we're putting together an emergency campaign to do exactly that. Can you chip in $5?
Here's what we're doing.
1) Catalyzing a huge wave of local organizing to counter the NRA's network. A broad range of folks need to come together—parents, law enforcement officials, health experts, gun owners, community leaders, religious leaders, and more—on the local level to act as a political counterweight to the NRA's boots-on-the-ground network. And the good news is, there's already a ton happening: MoveOn members have started over 100 local Community Committees Against Gun Violence, on the heels of over 300 vigils just after Sandy Hook.
And there's much more energy out there—but people need support to get organized. We need to pay for organizers, and for local advertising—from online ads to billboards—so that folks know what's happening in their town and can get connected. And then we need more resources for flyers, yard signs, meetingspace rentals, and more.
2) Launching hard-hitting actions highlighting the NRA's extremism at the national level. We need to pay for ads and organizers that support in-person volunteer-led events in New York and Washington, DC to draw the national media's attention to the NRA's political extremism.
Here's just one example: a coalition of gun groups have called for a "gun appreciation day" just before President Obama's inauguration. They're asking people to go to local gun stores and gun shows "with your Constitution, American flags and your 'Hands Off My Guns' sign."
Maria Roach, a MoveOn leader and founder of a new gun violence prevention group called United for Change USA, started a petition against this "Gun Appreciation Day," and it already has over 20,000 signers. With support, she can pull off a high-profile event to deliver these signatures directly to the NRA headquarters in Washington, driving media attention and putting the NRA on the spot—does it really want to support something like this in the wake of the brutal murders of 26 people in Newtown?
There are hundreds of other member-led campaigns bubbling up that we want to similarly support—since any of them could be the thing that breaks through and captures the attention of the national media.
We have a brief window to take all the people who are moved to act, give them the help they need to organize, and knit them together into a national campaign that can't be ignored—to cement the emerging conventional wisdom that the NRA is a retrograde, out-of-touch, industry-funded interest group that can't stop needed progress.
We CAN pass strong laws at the federal, state, and local level to prevent gun violence—if the NRA stays on the defense. And MoveOn members are already organizing to make that happen.
Can you chip in? Click here:https://civ.moveon.org/donatec4/gunsafety1.html?id=60735-10220574-vdLKn2x&t=4
1. "Poll: Support for stricter gun control at a 10-year high," CBS News, December 17, 2012
2. "5 Issues That Divide Gun Owners and NRA Leadership," Alternet, July 22, 2012
3. "Wayne LaPierre's Speech Was a Total Public Relations Disaster, Say PR Experts," The Huffington Post, December 21, 2012 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=286002&id=60735-10220574-vdLKn2x&t=7
Want to support our work? MoveOn Civic Action is entirely funded by our 7 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.
This email was sent to eddie alfaro on January 11, 2013. To change your email address or update your contact info, click here. To remove yourself from this list, click here.