A year after the Senate majority blocked a bill that would have required background checks for commercial gun sales, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Mayor's Against Illegal Guns have announced a new umbrella effort called "Everytown."
The idea is to compete directly with the National Rifle Association on membership numbers and lobbying efforts.
The local Chapter of Moms Demand Action made their announcement at Austin City Hall today and were met by protesters from Open Carry Texas, a group that supports the open carry of handguns.
According to Everytown's website:
Everytown connects survivors to each other, creating a vital network of people who support one another and work together to make change. Everytown also acts as a resource to survivors, educating them about gun laws and the policy-making process so they can take more effective action together.
Click below the jump to see who pledged $50,000,000 of their own wealthy to kick start Everytown...
The group boasts about 1.5 million backers with plans to nearly double that to 2.5 million by the end of the year.
Everytown will focus on the story of survivors and have produced a short video that begins with siblings playing hide and seek and ends with a bang. According to Everytown "about a third of U.S. children live in homes with guns." They go on to say that that in and of itself is not risky if guns were stored responsibly. But, they say, "because many guns are not, American kids are 16 times more likely to be accidentally shot and killed than kids in other developed countries."
Jamie Addams, a spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action testified in a Senate Committee hearing on open carry earlier this month that "For young people, this year will be the first year where gun violence is more deadly than auto accidents."
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is lending his name and pledging $50,000,000 to the 501c4 organization in order to help them counter the influence of the NRA. They will be able to raise unlimited money towards its efforts to enact background checks on gun purchases as well as reduce preventable deaths and gun trafficking. Like the NRA, the group will submit questionnaires to candidates and make endorsements.
The group's target audience are mothers and they are also focusing heavily on mass shootings at schools as evidence that Congress must take "action to pass common-sense gun laws." They have released a report that analyzes every school shooting since Newtown.
Attorney General Eric Holder has also called on Congress to authorize funds for "active shooter response training." According to the Texas Tribune Texas State University's Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center is the national leader for active shooter training programs funded by the Department of Justice and could receive as much as $15,000,000 towards the effort.
"We need to start an honest conversation about what responsible gun ownership means, and we should develop technology and laws that make safe storage the norm.
We can protect our kids while respecting the rights of lawful-and responsible-gun owners."