Gun control supporters launch frenzied campaign to revive legislation
By Mike Lillis
Gun control activists have launched a frenzied effort to revive legislation that failed in the Senate last month.
They see a glimmer of hope, pointing to the plummeting poll numbers of lawmakers who opposed the bill and the anger expressed at Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s (R-N.H.) recent town-hall meetings, where she was challenged on her “no” vote.
The Senate’s move to block a series of gun control measures — particularly a proposal expanding background checks — has been viewed as the dagger that destroyed any chance of enacting new firearms restrictions in the wake of December’s grade-school massacre in Newtown, Conn.
But as Washington’s policymakers have shifted their attention to budget issues and immigration reform, gun control groups have used the Senate defeat to redouble their fight for tougher policies that polls show have overwhelming public support.
The advocates are frantically conducting surveys, staging rallies, funding television ads and storming town-hall meetings in an effort to keep the issue in the headlines and to keep the pressure on lawmakers to return to it this year.
“They need to know they have defied the will of the people, and that their cold calculation that there is more intensity on the gun-nut side is wrong,” said Cliff Schecter, a liberal strategist who advocates for tougher gun laws.