Looking to seize on activist outrage in the wake of the Florida school shooting, Everytown for Gun Safety — the group backed by former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg — is launching a “five-action plan” to energize supporters ahead of the midterms.
The plan is the beginning of what is expected to be a major injection of money and action into the 2018 campaign cycle, targeting officials in Congress in state capitals who don’t back gun regulations.
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“It’s time to throw them out,” said Everytown President John Feinblatt.
A sign of the interest in the cause: Without soliciting any donations, Everytown saw online donations of $750,000 in 24 hours after the latest shooting.
The group also is organizing 200 vigils around the country, building on action that’s been going on nationwide.
The five points of the plan are: Pledge to vote on gun safety; research how much money local officials have accepted from the National Rifle Association, register friends to vote; force candidates to go on the record about gun policy through a provided candidate questionnaire; and urge people who are involved to run for office themselves.
Shannon Watts, the volunteer head of the affiliated group Moms Demand Action, founded in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, said she believes that the 2017 election wins by pro-gun regulation candidates demonstrate a changing tide.
“This idea that the NRA has multitudes of members and a grass-roots army is a figment of their imagination,” Watts said. “I know we’re all waiting for this cathartic congressional moment, but we are winning and we have the energy on the ground.”
The action plan, Watts said, will start to organize and rally the NRA’s opposition heading into November.
“Thoughts and prayers has become a national joke. And as someone who takes thoughts and prayers seriously, I find that so unfortunate,” Watts said. “It makes them complicit in the murders of Americans, even school children, because they aren’t taking any actions.”
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