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Moms and mayors partner to fight gun violence

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Mayors Against Illegal Guns has teamed up with Moms Demand Action to launch a new initiative aimed at tackling the problem of gun violence in the country. In a Wednesday press release, the newly formed “Everytown for Gun Safety” announced a campaign to turn out one million voters who will elect candidates that support gun safety legislation. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder of Mayors Against Illegal guns and Chair of the new organization, is contributing $50 million of his personal fortune to the cause.

The group draws its name from statistics that show there are 86 gun deaths each day in the United States. These deaths affect every town, not just areas plagued with high crime rates, as many of these deaths are the result of children’s access to guns, domestic violence and suicides. Everytown seeks legislation that will help keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, children and those with a history of domestic violence.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was founded by Shannon Watts the day after the Dec. 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct. Following the school shooting, which left 20 first grade students and six educators dead, stemming the epidemic of gun violence in the country became a national priority. President Obama quickly created a task force, led by Vice President Joe Biden, to study the issue and make recommendations.

The President released his gun violence prevention plan in January 2013, but legislators failed to take action. An amendment to the "Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013," proposed by Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, called for universal background checks of all gun purchasers. The legislation was blocked in the Senate although polling shows the majority of Americans support universal background checks.

“There is no question that more needs to be done to tackle this deadly problem, and that’s why more than 1.5 million Americans, nearly 1000 mayors and moms in all 50 states have already come together to fight for common-sense reform that will respect rights and save lives. This new organization will bring more people into the fight against gun violence, which affects every town in America.” — Michael Bloomberg, Chair, Everytown for Gun Safety

Everytown’s Gun Sense Voter campaign will harness the tactics of the National Rifle Association (NRA), a group that opposes gun control legislation, by surveying legislators about their stance and voting record on gun safety issues. The group will publish a scorecard to inform voters about a candidate’s position. The Everytown action fund will create a separate political action committee.

The Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund is developing a video series to illustrate the issue of gun violence. The first video of the series dramatizes the dangers of keeping unsecured guns in homes where children play. The “Scenes from Everytown: Stop the Violence” video series will focus on how gun violence affects every American.

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