It’s right there in the text of the second amendment: “a well-regulated militia.”
What vision of “well-regulated” did the founding fathers have? Was it gun show loopholes? The ability of a suspected terrorist who’s on the no-fly list being able to purchase a gun? What about Donald Trump rolling back President Obama’s executive order restricting the mentally ill from purchasing firearms?
How about the fact that those who committed domestic abuse can obtain guns? Or the fact that purchasing sinus medication is more closely monitored than weapons of war? How is this all “well-regulated?”
Today we look at the policy or micro-level issues that halt change for the better regarding gun sense. Last week, in part one, we explored the cultural or macro-level obstacles that stand in the way.
You already know what stands in the way of getting gun sense accomplished, from a legislative point of view. The Republican party consists of policy makers who basically act as yes men to the NRA’s dangerous agenda. The National Rifle Association, who are funded by gun and ammunition manufacturers, donate money to their campaign coffers and then they have a lawmaker who does their bidding once in office.
However, there is a counter-movement.
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, composed entirely of unpaid volunteers, is under the Every Town for Gun Safety umbrella, a lobbyist group that runs counter to the NRA. Every Town members are paid for their work; funded partially by donations to Moms Demand.
I attended a recent Moms Demand meeting, where they showcased a lengthy list of all they accomplished in the last five years. The actual physical list, in this era of online only everything, is very eye-popping and actually a refreshing change of pace. They aren't focused on banning specific weapons, like the aims of the Brady Center.
They are a pro second amendment group, who are actually much more moderate, and in the middle, than the FOX News/Breitbart/Dana Loesch types would have you believe. And right now, the momentum has shifted 180 degrees in their favor, and in the last 10 days it's been a sea change.
Mom's Demand has seen their membership numbers swell from just 2,700 to 40,000-50,000 since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. We're starting to see the tide turning regarding policy as well.
Illinois Senate Bill 1657 passed on Wednesday, and now Governor Bruce Rauner has 58 days to sign or veto it. He could take action at any time, but it expected to wait until after the March 20th primary. There is a great deal of uncertainty on which way he leans on this bill, so the outcome could go either way.
SB1657 calls for every gun dealer in the state of to receive an annual checkup from an agent representing the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. There are 7,000 identified gun dealers in the state of Illinois, with only 24 total ATF agents assigned to the state and northwest Indiana. The ATF is purposely underfunded, and you can guess by whom, and that's why we currently have a shortage of ATF agents.
Moms Demand, whose name was modeled after Mothers Against Drunk Driving, is seeking to change the culture around gun sense just like M.A.D.D. changed the culture around drunk driving. Their next priority after SB1657 is the LVOP (lethal violence order of protection act), as getting guns out of the hands of domestic abusers is one of the group's primary missions.
If you want to get involved, you would now be joining the zeitgeist at just the right time. We're at a tipping point now. If you're ready to take action and you're involved in education text educators to 64433 or sign up online.
If you're a student and you want to learn about doing more for gun sense, text students to 64433 or sign up online.
"Millennials comprise the largest generation in American history. For those of you age 18-34, you will decide this election. You will decide it if you vote, you will decide it if you don’t vote.”
The 2018 midterms are what matter, and it is win at all costs. Mom's Demand has a five point plan to throw the NRA yes men out of office. #ThrowThemOut
Regarding the grassroots effort to encourage Rauner to sign SB1657 into law-
- Here is a link to the petition from Everytown for Gun Safety: http://every.tw/2FaK2k
- Here is a link to the petition from the Illinois Coalition for Gun Violence Prevention: https://ilgvp.com/ouronejob-
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune corporation blogging community Chicago Now.
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.