|Al Capone. Mugshot information from Science and Society Picture Gallery: Al Capone (1899-1947), American gangster, 17 June 1931. 'Al Capone sent to prison. This picture shows the Bertillon photographs of Capone made by the US Dept of Justice. His rogue's gallery number is C 28169'. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
It's tragic and infuriating: In the face of the alarming acts of gun violence all over the nation, the NRA — one of the most extreme and obstructionist lobbies in Congress — is blocking action against common sense gun regulations including a ban on military-style semiautomatic assault weapons.
To make progress to reduce gun violence, we have to weaken the NRA's grip on Congress.
But now, a strongly Democratic congressional seat in Illinois is in danger of falling into the NRA's hands: The south Chicagoland district vacated by Jesse Jackson, Jr. — a district with a long and tragic history of gun violence.
Two of the leading candidates in the special primary election have received "A" ratings from the NRA: Debbie Halvorson and Toi Hutchinson.
We can't let the NRA tighten its grip on Congress. But we have to act fast. The election is in 14 days.
With your support, over the next two weeks, we'll deploy an aggressive, strategic voter contact operation at people's front doors and on the phones — the same proven voter contact technique that helped CREDO SuperPAC take down 5 Tea Party Republicans in November.
If we're ever going to weaken the NRA's power, we need to show that obstructing vital efforts to improve gun safety is a losing electoral strategy.
That means NRA A-rated Halvorson and Hutchinson must not win.
Halvorson wears her NRA "A" rating like a badge. She's co-sponsored legislation to weaken concealed carry laws, and in this election has doubled down on her commitment to blocking the ban on assault weapons.
NRA "A" rated Hutchinson — a protégé and former staffer of Halvorson — has a long record of siding with the gun lobby, including opposing legislation to restrict semi-automatic weapons and to increase reporting of lost and stolen firearms. Now, she's trying to sweep that record under the rug.
If either Halvorson or Hutchinson wins, it will be bad news for our efforts to enact sensible gun violence prevention measures in Congress. But we need to get the message out.
Mayor Bloomberg's Independence USA PAC and Progressive Kick are both running TV ads to keep Chicago out of the NRA's hands — but we know the most effective way to swing votes is delivering the message in person.
This is a heavily Democratic district — so whichever Democrat wins the primary election is going to Congress, probably for decades. We need to make sure that Democrat is willing to stand up to the NRA in Congress.
Thanks for taking a stand to help Congress take action against gun violence.
Becky Bond, President