Everytown for Gun Safety is spending $60 million on the 2020 elections, $8 million of which will target Texas as the nation’s anti-gun lobby hopes to turn the Lone Star State from Red to Blue.
Operation “Gun Sense Majority: Texas,” as Everytown calls it, aims to flip key congressional seats in the suburbs, retain occupied “gun sense” seats in the U.S. and state Houses, and grow the anti-gun voting electorate.
“Gun safety has become a top issue for voters — especially in the suburbs — as Texas becomes younger and more diverse, and after years of horrific gun violence and lawmakers who fail to address it,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, which falls under the Everytown umbrella.
“That’s why we’ll focus on electing gun sense candidates up and down the ballot in Texas, where a majority of households own guns, because polling proves gun owning and non-gun owning parents alike want their children to keep their kids safe,” she added.
Everytown cited polling from the Global Strategy Group to make its case that attitudes toward gun control were changing in Texas:
- Texas voters support stronger gun laws by a 5:1 margin (51% stronger/9% less strong). And in battleground districts, voters support stronger gun laws by an even larger 54% to 10% margin.
- Over three-quarters of Texas voters (78% statewide; 86% of battleground voters), including 84% of voters who support stronger gun laws, consider a candidate’s position on guns “very important” to their vote in 2020.
- Vast majorities of voters statewide and in battleground districts — including undecided voters, gun owners, Latino voters and suburban women — support individual gun safety measures, including blocking domestic abusers from having guns (91% statewide; 89% in battleground districts), requiring background checks on all gun sales (87% statewide; 82% in battleground districts), and red flag laws (80% statewide; 77% in battleground districts).
- Sixty percent of voters, including a majority of Republican women (57%) and voters in battleground districts (58%) say they would never vote for a candidate who doesn’t support background checks on all gun sales. Compared with other candidate positions on issues like health care, national security and immigration, opposition to background checks on all gun sales is the single most disqualifying candidate position among suburban women by a nine-point margin, and tied for the top among Latino voters by a three-point margin.
As with all polls, the devils in the details. That is to say, how the questions are phrased. Asking one if one supports “requiring background check on all gun sales” is much different than asking one if one supports “criminalizing private transfers.”
Wonder what the results of the poll would look like if the question was: Should it be illegal for you to let your cousin borrow your rifle to go hunting for the afternoon? Or, should you be arrested for selling your Glock 19 to your neighbor?
Because that’s really what’s at stake with “universal background check” (UBC) legislation. Gun shops already are required to run background checks at the point of sale. Only private sales and transfers are allowed to proceed without a NICS check.
However, if one knows or has reason to believe the person one is selling or transferring a gun to is a prohibited person (felon, domestic abuser, minor, drug addict, etc.), it’s illegal for him or her to do so. In other words, existing law already bans criminals from transferring or selling guns to one another, or to other prohibited persons.
Why do we need UBCs then? The answer is, of course, we don’t. Unless the agenda is to chill the 2A rights of law-abiding citizens. Which is exactly the goal of Everytown.
One can apply the same scrutiny to the other legislative goals of Everytown. The truth is existing federal law already prohibits convicted domestic abusers from possessing firearms and allows for authorities to monitor or, if need be, detain or involuntarily commit credible threats to public safety. Why then do we need red flag laws?
The answer, again, is we don’t. Unless the objective is to ignore due process and disarm citizens. Which, again, is the real goal of Everytown.
Hopefully, Texans can see through the smoke and mirrors of Operation: “Gun Sense Majority: Texas.” Because the future of their 2A rights depends on it.