The Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund is actively recruiting faith leaders to push anti-gun politicians ahead of the 2020 elections.
The organization, largely bankrolled by failed presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, announced this week its plan to “mobilize faith communities to elect gun sense candidates” in November.
“Individuals and organizations partnering with Everytown will work to activate their networks around gun safety in the 2020 election, including communicating with their networks around the importance of voting for gun sense candidates in 2020; hosting community conversations and events, and encouraging their networks to register to vote and pledge to vote for gun sense candidates,” said the organization in a press release.
The partners include key figures from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh backgrounds. And they will target the battleground states of AZ, CO, FL, GA, IA, MI, MN, NC, NH, NV, PA, TX, and WI.
“There are people who respond to the 100 lives lost to guns each day by saying that it is not a gun problem, it’s a heart problem,” said Shane Claiborne, president of Red Letter Christians. “I’m convinced it is both. God heals hearts, and people change laws. We need both of those to happen in America. That’s why I am honored to join this interfaith partnership to end gun violence.”
“In Islam, similar to other faith traditions, God tells us all in the Qur’an that ‘if anyone kills a person…it is as if he kills all humankind, while if any saves a life it is as if he saves the lives of all humankind,’” said Colin Christopher, a Muslim faith activist.
“We are nearing a tipping point in public pressure demanding that our elected leaders reflect these values,” he continued. “Faith communities have always been at the center of demanding positive societal shifts, and we are excited to join other communities of faith to build power and demand these changes be made.”
This latest faith-based initiative is part of larger marshaling of resources by the organization this election cycle. In total, Everytown will drop at least $60 million in 2020 to elect its “gun sense” candidates.
By comparison, the National Rifle Association spent $100 million in 2016, the majority of which (roughly $30 million) was spent to help get Donald Trump into the White House.
Money matters in politics. The people who spend the most to get elected usually win. Just check out this helpful graph from the website FiveThirtyEight:
Now, that’s not to say that spending a lot of money is a surefire way to get elected. Money doesn’t always “cause” the win as the experts note. Heck, Bloomberg’s own bid for the Democratic nomination is a prime example. He spent $1 billion, according to reports, and has nothing to show for it.
But, at the same time, it’s hard to ignore the correlation, especially at a time when the NRA is tapped out financially as a result of lawsuits and other issues.
Looking ahead, it’s clear that Bloomberg is going to drop millions and millions of dollars this year to get his hand-picked candidates into office. Couple his incredible political largess with the grassroots initiatives Everytown is doing now with faith leaders and students (Students Demand Action) and mayors (Mayors Against Illegal Guns) and moms (Moms Demand Action) and the business community (think Dick’s and Levi’s) and Hollywood, and gun owners have a real reason to be concerned.
We say it every election cycle, and it rings true yet again, but this one is the most important of our lifetime.