I am challenging Congressman David Cicilline for the Democratic nomination of the 1st congressional district of Rhode Island. Over the 4thof July Weekend, sadly, over 60 people were shot in Chicago. Shootings are becoming a common phenomenon.
In fact, since the Sandy Hook massacre, over 74 school shootings have occurred across the US. Unfortunately, at the behest of the gun industry, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has cited gun violence like this past weekend in Chicago as a reason to buy more guns.
For the NRA, it is all about money. The NRA receives a bulk of funding from the gun industry which profits from gun sales. Less than half of the NRA’s income comes from fees and membership dues. Since 2005, the gun industry gave $19.8 to $52.6 million to the NRA.
The NRA has routinely cited gun violence in Chicago as an example of out of control gun laws. They argue that Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country yet has some of the world’s worst gun violence. The NRA’s answer is to relax gun restrictions, and promote gun ownership (and sales). This past weekend in Chicago, the brutality of the gun violence has led many gun enthusiasts to embrace the misleading talking point the gun laws are the problem, not the guns.
Chicago’s strict gun control laws are the problem with some significant caveats. Chicago does have the toughest gun laws in the country. However, many of the guns used for gun violence in Chicago come from the surrounding areas with loose gun laws. In fact, of the 50,000 guns police recovered between 2001 and 2012, more than half came from outside the state. If anything, the gun violence in Chicago is a case for stricter gun control laws at the federal level including expanded background checks.
Gun violence such as that witnessed in Chicago is not a sales point. We need to rein in gun violence. This will mean standing up to the NRA and other gun rights organizations that seek to use violence like this past weekend in Chicago as further proof we need to relax our gun laws and promote gun sales. In fact, the opposite is true: we need stringent and Constitutional federal gun control laws that make it more difficult for criminals and the mentally unstable to purchase firearms. Expanded background checks are a good starting point. This might hurt the gun industry’s bottom line, but they are already making a killing.
If interested, please contact me at 401-225-0541, or MattforRI@gmail.com. My facebook is Matt Fecteau, Democrat for Congress, and my twitter account: @matthewfecteau.