The Michael Bloomberg-backed Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund has reportedly “rolled out a $250,000 ad campaign” in an effort to flip Republican-held House seats in Texas, according to The Hill.
Everytown is the gun prohibition lobbying organization launched by Bloomberg in April 2014. It provided an umbrella for Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
According to The Hill, “the gun control group’s ads will run in districts held by Reps. Dan Crenshaw, Michael McCaul, John Carter and Chip Roy, as well as the state’s 24th Congressional District, where Beth Van Duyne is running for Congress.”
Texas is not the only target, but it is a rich prize for the gun prohibition movement. The story says these new advertisements are part of a larger $8 million effort “to pressure Republican candidates with ties to the gun rights lobby.”
“We’re investing in Texas because this state has one of the highest rates of gun violence deaths in the country,” Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, said earlier this year.
In 2018, the most recent year for which data is available from the FBI annual Uniform Crime Report, Texas reported 1,301 total homicides, of which 956 involved firearms. Texas was second only to California that year for murders. In 2018, the Golden State reported 1,739 slayings, including 1,177 involving firearms.
It is not known how many of those slayings involved gang conflicts. Of the more than 14,000 slayings in 2018, the Crime Report classified 306 as “gangland slayings” and 308 as “juvenile gang killings.”
The Hill story also noted Everytown’s intention to flip the Texas Legislature this year by “focusing on 20 state-level races.” Everytown wants to flip nine seats to have what it calls a “gun sense majority” in Austin next year. That will likely translate to more Democrats than Republicans.
Last August, Everytown and the Moms group called on the Texas Safety Commission to support so-called “universal background checks” for all firearm transfers, and adopt a so-called “red flag” law. Proponents claimed such laws “are proven to save lives.”
Perhaps, but not necessarily, is that accurate. Both Fort Hood shooters passed background checks. The Santa Fe High School shooter used a gun from home. The shooter involved in the Midland-Odessa rampage in August 2019 failed a background check but obtained a firearm, anyway. The Sutherland Springs killer in 2017 passed background checks because his criminal history while serving in the military apparently was not forwarded to the National Instant Check System (NICS).
On the other hand, an armed private citizen shot the Sutherland Springs killer, who ultimately took his own life.
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Armed church-goers fatally shot a gunman at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement last Dec. 29.
According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, Texas is one of four states that currently have more than 1 million active concealed carry licenses or permits in circulation. The other three are Florida, Pennsylvania and Georgia.
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