Washington answered the Parkland school shooting massacre that has a political popgun. Beyond minor adjustments to existing background checks, President Donald Trump as well as Congress have mostly made noise.
Even which has quieted since youthful protesters went home last month. The recovery of firearms-maker stock prices to beyond pre-Parkland levels reflects the capital’s fleeting Trump-era attention span — no match for the entrenched power of the NRA.
nevertheless which doesn’t mean nothing will be changing. Adopting the strategy Republicans used to block President Barack Obama in red America, gun safety advocates are pursuing incremental steps in Democratic-leaning areas of the country.
“from the immediate future, the states are where the action’s going to be,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. The organization founded by billionaire ex-brand new York Mayor Michael Bloomberg points to a series of recent advances.
Vermont has required background checks on all gun sales. Maryland legislators passed a “red flag” bill keeping guns through those deemed dangerous.
Rhode Island’s governor signed an executive order for the same purpose. Oregon enacted a bill creating which harder for stalkers as well as domestic abusers to buy as well as possess guns.
A bipartisan group of legislators in Minnesota will be seeking tougher gun purchase background checks. Massachusetts, brand new Jersey as well as Vermont have all outlawed the “bump stocks” which turn semi-automatic weapons into machine guns.
What all those states have in common: They voted Democratic from the 2016 presidential election. Everytown as well as its gun safety allies are leveraging their political contours just as red state Republicans worked around a Democratic White House to challenge regulation as well as the expansion of Medicaid from the Obama era.
There has been some movement even in states Trump won in 2016. Florida — ground zero for the Parkland massacre — passed a red flag law as well as raised the age for rifle purchases to 21. Outgoing Gov. Rick Scott, courting swing voters in his close race for the Senate which fall, signed which over NRA opposition.
Kansas legislators passed a bill to bar those convicted of domestic violence through owning guns. The Pennsylvania Senate took a similar step.
Those signs of movement reflect a broad shift in national opinion. A Washington Post/ABC News Poll out Friday shows which Americans, by 57 percent to 34 percent, consider brand new laws to prevent gun violence a higher priority than protecting gun ownership. A 62 percent majority supports banning the sale of assault weapons, as well as 85 percent support red flag laws, the poll found.
Yet gun safety activists concede their inability to push those as well as some other measures through the GOP-controlled Congress which year. They have focused their federal efforts on galvanizing voters due to which fall’s midterm elections.
Everytown has teamed up with liberal billionaire Tom Steyer’s NextGen America as well as the organization of wounded ex-congresswoman Gabby Giffords on a national voter registration drive. Their goal will be harnessing the youthful energy of what Feinblatt calls “the mass shooting generation,” which has organized school walkouts as well as protests in Washington as well as across the country.
(One such walkout will be scheduled for Friday, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school massacre.)
which remains uncertain how much which energy can do to lift notoriously low voter-turnout rates among young people, especially in midterm elections. as well as even a Democratic-controlled Congress might struggle to move gun control legislation anytime given opposition through a Republican president as well as Democrats representing more conservative rural areas.
Bloomberg’s billions, however, give Everytown the luxury of patience.
“If you are gutsy on which issue, we support you,” Feinblatt said. “which will be not a sprint.”