Gun controllers push their message, momentum

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-8 today to pass a bill that would require all gun sales be subject to background checks, and congressional Democrats and their allies are looking to maximize their gun-control momentum and messaging.

Today, Mayors Against Illegal Guns released a new advertisement featuring religious leaders demanding that Congress act to pass gun law reforms.

The ad concides with the start of the Papal Conclave in Vatican City, and comes just ahead of this weekend’s Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend – organized by Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, the National Cathedral and PICO – in which congregations across the nation will gather to reflect and act on preventing gun violence including requiring background checks for all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and making gun trafficking a federal crime.

On Wednesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francsico; U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland; and other women in Congress will join Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, for a Capitol Hill news conference “to highlight the urgency for common-sense gun violence prevention legislation to protect our communities, families, and schools.”

On Thursday – the three-month anniversary of the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. – members of MomsRising, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Million Mom March (part of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence), Reston-Herndon Alliance to End Gun Violence, and other concerned citizens will deliver a petition with more than 150,000 signatures on it to National Rifle Association President David Keene at his Fairfax, Va. office. The petition urges the NRA to support common-sense gun safety laws.

On Friday, Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa, will chair the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force’s hearing on “The Need for Background Checks: Preventing Criminals and the Dangerously Mentally Ill from Getting Guns” at the Capitol. Panelists are expected to include Carol Gaxiola of Arizona, the mother of gun violence victim; Dr. Daniel Webster, director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Joseph Bielevicz, a detective with the Pittsburgh Police Firearms Tracking Unit; Austin, Texas, Police Chief Art Acevedo; Joe Deaser, owner of the Capital Gun Club in Roseville, Calif.; and Jesse Ogas of Colorado, a hunter, sportsman, gun owner and former NRA Member.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR Senile Columnist

    Let’s stamp out illegal guns after we cure cancer, AIDS, heart disease, MS, etc,


    So,my government has guns and i dont..This makes me safer how ??

  • Roger J

    Dear Mr. Sheep: It means the heavily armed SWAT team that makes an illegal, no knock, warrantless search of your home (because they got the address wrong) will have even less reason to shoot you than they do now – but they’ll shoot you anyway because when you got up to answer the door they just kicked in, you were “resisting.” Welcome to the Police State.

  • JohnW

    @2 MR. SHEEP

    If you don’t have guns, it’s because you either have chosen not to have one or because you are mentally ill or a felon.

    Background checks do not take anybody’s guns. They are supposed to help prevent people who aren’t allowed from getting their hands on guns.

    Your government has nukes, RPG’s and shoulder-fired missiles too. You and I don’t. No disrespect, but I’d prefer to keep it that way.

  • Elwood

    Living as close to Buchanan Field as I do, I sometimes wish private citizens were allowed SAM missiles.

    I don’t want to hurt anyone. I just want it to fly in front of the offending plane and unfurl a little flag that says BANG!

  • JohnW

    Could be worse. Ask people in Pleasanton in the flight path of the Livermore airport, which has twice as many operations (landings and takeoffs) as Buchanan.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    The NRA used to teach gun safety. Then gun carrying politicians started talking gun control. Now Micheal Moore sends me an anti NRA story about controlling guns, a few days before his corrupt Detroit, is taken over by the State. It looks like all of this noise about gun control, is to take peoples attention off of corrupt or inept politicians, who are borrowing & spending.

  • JohnW

    @7 “The NRA used to teach gun safety.”

    Correct. They taught me marksmanship and gun safety at Boy Scout camps. The NRA started after the Civil War to teach marksmanship — a reaction to the fact that Union soldiers were lousy shots.

    The NRA did not become associated with 2nd Amendment absolutism and far right politics until 1977, when the NRA’s version of the Tea Party forced out the organization’s “establishment” leadership.

  • JohnW

    @7 re Michael Moore

    Interesting thing about Michael Moore. He long ago moved to Traverse City in Northern Michigan. My home town. Politically, it is a very conservative area. But Moore started up a huge film festival there that attracts people from all over the country. So, despite the politics, the people in that area love him.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    Big strong men usually don’t whack people with guns. Many of these murderers are small bullied young men. Many come from homes where the biological parents hate each other. Why aren’t people talking about getting rid of bullying? When I was in high school, some of the teachers were bullies. Outlaw bullying! But that won’t get as much media coverage,to keep peoples minds off of government’s staggering debt.