By: José Niño
They’re at it again.
Earlier this week week, GPM reported the anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety had launched a $250,000 ad campaign targeting Republican congressional seats in Texas. These ads are part of the group’s $8 million campaign to undermine Republican candidates in the Lone Star state. Everytown titled this effort, "Gun Sense Majority: Texas” and is focusing its efforts on 20 state legislature races as well.
Now, the group has announced plans to spend $5 million in Arizona to support Democrats at all levels of government— from the U.S. Senate race to state legislature races. If anti-gun Democrats are successful in flipping the Arizona legislature, it would be the first time they would be in control of both chambers of the Arizona state government since the mid-1960s.
Earlier this year, the group attacked U.S. Senator Martha McSally with a $43,000 ad campaign over her allegedly “pro-gun” voting record. The campaign launched against McSally is part of a broader effort to elect candidates who support gun control legislation. Mark Kelly is running against McSally and has positioned himself as the gun control candidate. Kelly gained notoriety for co-founding Gifford Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
“It’s clear Arizonans are fed up with lawmakers who refuse to put public safety first,” Everytown for Gun Safety President John Feinblatt declared on a conference call with reporters.
The $5 million being injected into Arizona races is part of a $60 million national campaign. Arizona is one of the main states gun controllers are targeting in the current election cycle.
Feinblatt said Everytown will be focusing on trying to flip both the Arizona House and Senate to “gun sense” majorities.
The anti-gun leader revealed the organization intends on using the “same playbook” that achieved electoral successes in Virginia in 2019. As a result of anti-gunners getting a Democrat trifecta in Virginia, the state was able to pass red flag gun confiscation orders, universal background checks, and monthly limits on handgun purchases.
“We are going to replace lawmakers who don’t act on gun safety,” Everytown for Gun Safety Senior Political Advisor Charlie Kelly announced. He called attention to how “it really does come down to Maricopa County” for achieving an electoral breakthrough.
The anti-gun Left is relentless in its activism. After surprising performances in Texas and Arizona during the 2018 election cycle and a resounding victory in Virginia in 2019, gun controllers look to double-down in 2020. In previous years, it would have been risible to suggest that gun control groups would have states like Arizona in play. Changing demographics, a media completely in the tank for anti-gun causes, feckless political leadership, and increasingly radicalized electorates have now turned previously safe states into virtual battleground states.
None of this should discourage gun owners, however. Anything worth fighting for comes with challenges. They key is that Second Amendment activists be prepared for a dog fight and start planning to ensure that they not only delay the gun controllers’ launch, but also score legislative wins as a means of consolidating pro-gun power in state legislatures.
José Niño is a Venezuelan American freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.