Guns Down Guns Down

10 Things To Be Thankful For . . .

November 21, 2018

It’s easy to look at the country today and feel downtrodden and hopeless. Gun violence wracks America, hate and violence seem to have taken hold, and sometimes it feels like there’s no way out.

But across the country, the midterm elections were a sign of hope, and offered an opportunity to be grateful for the progress we’ve been able to make together.

Here are the ten things we’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving:

1) Washington state passed one of the most comprehensive ballot initiative on gun laws ever proposed. Initiative 1639, the third ballot initiative strengthening gun laws the state has passed, will tighten laws on assault weapons, firearms storage, training, and help build a country where guns are harder to access.

2) Red states are rejecting NRA extremism. In Kansas (yes, that Kansas), a candidate supported by gun violence prevention groups defeated Kris Kobach, who spent a lot of his campaign riding around in a Jeep with a machine gun attached to it and spreading the kind of hateful rhetoric the NRA trafficks everyday. And voters in state’s 3rd Congressional District replaced gun lobby supported incumbent Kevin Yoder with Sharice Davids. The gun lobby’s power is waning, even in deep red states.

3) Barbara Comstock lost. Comstock’s Virginia Congressional seat was targeted by a number of gun violence prevention groups. Her loss not only removes one of the the NRA’s candidates from Congress, but it shows that even in their own backyard, the NRA isn’t invincible.

4) Lucy McBath won her Congressional race. McBath, whose son Jordan Davis was killed in a shooting in Florida, defeated a gun lobby backed legislator in Georgia and will bring the voice of a gun violence survivor to Congress.

5) States have the best chance in years to advance our country towards a future with fewer guns. Voters elected governors who support stronger gun laws in at least five states, and at least five state legislative chambers flipped away from gun lobby control.

6) Young people are showing up and making a difference. Compared to 2014, youth turnout increased by 188 percent.

7) Most voters want stronger gun laws. Recent polling showed that two-thirds of voters want a country with stronger gun laws.

8) The NRA’s spending dropped steeply. They have less money going out, and that means they likely have less money coming in. Beyond that, the gun lobby was outspent by opponents by almost two-to-one.

9) The media is coming around and is beginning to see that support for stronger gun laws won’t hurt candidates, but will help them.

10) The House flipped and gun laws are back on the table.

For years, the gun lobby has been the only show in town. They’ve dominated the conversation and held our country hostage with their extremist and ahistorical vision of the role of guns in America.

If the midterms are any indication, that’s not the case anymore. Far from it.