How Mitch McConnell can make Americans safer
After the recent attacks in Paris and Beirut, Republican politicians used hateful, Islamophobic rhetoric to call for xenophobic restrictions on refugees — all allegedly in the name of keeping Americans safe.
Yet right-wing Republicans in Congress have done nothing to pass any reasonable proposals to protect our communities from senseless domestic terrorism. And Friday’s mass shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood health center, alongside last week’s white supremacist attack on a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis, is a stark reminder that horrific gun violence perpetrated by domestic terrorists continues to be one of the most real and present threats to Americans’ safety.
As President Obama said in response to the latest tragedy in Colorado, "The last thing Americans should have to do, over the holidays or any day, is comfort the families of people killed by gun violence," adding, "This is not normal. We can’t let it become normal." President Obama continued, “[W]e have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period. Enough is enough.”1
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Act to make us safer. Bring real gun control legislation to the floor for a vote.
It’s outrageous that Republicans are so eager to fear-monger 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 2004.2
With Republican hypocrisy currently in the media spotlight, it’s time to ramp up the pressure on them to finally act.
Tell Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Act to make us safer. Bring real gun control legislation to the floor for a vote.
The xenophobic policies offered up by Republicans in the wake of the Paris and Beirut attacks are simply jaw-dropping:
- Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz suggested bombing innocent civilians in the Middle East.3
- Twenty-six Republican governors have vowed, without any legal authority, to block Syrian refugees from their states.4
- Presidential candidate Jeb Bush joined Sen. Cruz in proposing that we block Syrian refugees based on religion — admitting Christian but not Muslim refugees.5
- The House passed a bill this week requiring the FBI director, the secretary of Homeland Security and the director of National Intelligence to personally sign off on every refugee from Syria or Iraq.6
These policies are especially offensive in light of the fact that 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.7
- 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.8
- Prohibit the manufacture of assault weapons and "large capacity" magazines for civilian use.
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. Can you add your voice today?
Tell Senate Republican leaders: Act to make us safer and pass real gun control legislation.
Thanks for standing up to the NRA today.
Jonathan Martin, “Obama Says ‘Enough is Enough’ after Colorado Shooting,” New York Times, November 28, 2015.
“Closing the Terror Gap in Gun Background Checks,” Everytown for Gun Safety, July 21, 2015.
Judd Legum, "In Response To Paris, Ted Cruz Calls For Airstrikes With More ‘Tolerance For Civilian Casualties’," ThinkProgress.org, November 13, 2015.
Sarah Frostenson and Dara Lind, “Here's a map of every state refusing to accept Syrian refugees,” Vox.com, November 18, 2015.
Amy Davidson, “Ted Cruz’ Religious Test for Refugees, New Yorker, November 16, 2015.
Camila Domonoske, “House Votes To Increase Security Checks On Refugees From Iraq, Syria,” NPR, November 19, 2015.
“Universal Background Checks & the “Private” Sale Loophole Policy Summary ,” Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, September 10, 2015.
”Gabby Giffords, National Domestic Violence Prevention Leaders Applaud New House Legislation to Keep Guns out of the Hands of Abusers,” Americans for Responsible Solutions, July 22, 2015.