New group aims to curb gun violence

McClatchy Washington BureauApril 16, 2014 

Backed with millions of dollars and potentially millions of supporters, a new group aiming to curb gun violence will launch Wednesday.

Everytown for Gun Safety will include Mayors Against Illegal Guns, founded by former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and former Boston Mayor Tom Menino, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a grassroots movement of mothers.

That group was founded the day after the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

According to a press release, "Everytown will ask Americans to join the fight to reduce the gun violence that kills 86 Americans every day and affects every town – big cities and small towns alike. This means continuing to press for change in Washington and moving beyond Congress to bring the fight for common-sense gun policies to state capitols, corporate boards, and state and federal elections – fields of play formerly occupied almost solely by the gun lobby."

Backers plan to support candidates and bills promoting their efforts. Bloomberg told the New York Times he plans to spend at least $50 million "s educational and advocacy efforts and through personal expenditures," the group's statement said.

More from the release:

"The group draws its name from the grim math of gun violence in America: 86 Americans are killed with guns every day. “This isn’t just an urban problem, or a mass shooting problem. It can, and it does, happen in every town,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “And it will take every mayor, every mom, and every one of us to persuade our policymakers that we have to do more to protect our kids and our communities.” 

"Moms, mayors, gun violence survivors, law enforcement officials, gun owners, faith leaders and everyday Americans will also gather at events across the country today to kick off Everytown. The events will be held in Tucson, Arizona; Denver, Colorado; St. Petersburg, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Las Vegas, Nevada; Concord, New Hampshire; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Austin, Texas and Seattle, Washington.

"At the events, Everytown will launch the ‘Gun Sense Voter’ campaign that, for the first time, will mobilize one million voters to support leaders and laws that promote gun safety. Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, the group’s advocacy arm, will also issue candidate questionnaires and announce candidate scorecards to guide its supporters and the public in state and federal elections in November. The Action Fund will also form a separate, supporter-funded political action committee."

The group has an uphill battle; gun control legislation has gone nowhere in this Congress, and prospects remain dim.

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