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For gun control politics, is it all about the money?

Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly reportedly have a money-making super PAC on their hands.
Dave Workman

The Huffington Post reported late yesterday that the gun control group led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly – both of whom came to Washington last week to testify for a gun control measure – “raised more money through its super PAC than any other super PAC in the country” for the second quarter in a row.

Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), according to the story, which was updated this morning, took in $5.84 million between July 1 and Dec. 31 last year. Since the organization was launched in January of last year, it has reported more than $18.1 million in contributions, HuffPost said.

Pushing gun control appears to be a booming business. According to the state Public Disclosure Commission, the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility has raised more than $1.4 million so far in its efforts to get Initiative 594 to the Legislature. WAGR has spent more than $1.3 million of that, which contrasts dramatically with the $710,000 raised by Protect Our Gun Rights to get Initiative 591 to the Legislature. POGR spent more than $697,000; roughly half the money raised by the Seattle-based gun control elitists, yet as this column noted, POGR turned in more signatures on their initiative than WAGR.

One group, calling itself the “Progressive Majority,” is holding an interactive meeting tomorrow starting at 3 p.m. Eastern/Noon Pacific for politicians and potential candidates that will discuss “Successful messaging about gun violence” that “requires embracing your audience.” One is compelled to wonder if this is the next evolutionary step up from the gun control playbook revealed first by this column six months ago. That was titled “Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging.” This confab is aimed at pro-gun control politicians and gun prohibitionists who want to become politicians.

Ms. Giffords is a sympathetic figure. Severely wounded and disabled in the January 2011 Tucson attack that left six others dead, her personal recovery effort has been both miraculous and inspiring. She and Kelly have most prominently been traveling around the country promoting a legislative agenda that even they and others acknowledged last week would not have prevented the crime that nearly cost her life, so is it fair to wonder why people support the effort so generously?

What they plan to do with the money could be disconcerting to Northwest gun rights activists. The HuffPost article, intimated that at least some of the money might be used to influence political issues. They are, the article said, going to run advertisements against politicians who voted against a background check measure last year. Gun politics is a hot topic in this region, and big anti-gun liberal spenders include the WAGR supporters and anti-gun former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Having the ARS bankroll also helping the gun control effort is cause for alarm.

Could it be that the ARS, Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns and WAGR have concluded that since they've been unable to push lawmakers into legislating away gun rights, they are now simply going to try buying them?


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