PFAW Report: The Radical Right and the Challenge of Gun Violence Prevention

— by Layne Amerikaner | Miranda Blue, 202-467-4999 / media@pfaw.org

People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch released a report today chronicling the history and strategies of the radical groups and individuals who are working to prevent meaningful gun violence reform. While most Americans, including most gun owners, support common-sense gun violence prevention efforts, a small but vocal group of extremists has so far succeeded in blocking any attempt at meaningful reform.

The report, The Lobby Against Common Sense: The Right’s Campaign Against Gun Violence Reform and How We Can Defeat It, is available at www.pfaw.org.

“We cannot address the plague of gun violence in our country until we are able to have a reasonable debate about reforming our gun laws,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “Unfortunately, for too many years this debate has been dominated by an extreme and vocal fringe. These extremists equate gun violence prevention with ‘tyranny’;  blame mass shootings on everything and everybody but lax gun safety laws; and push conspiracy theories about government confiscations of firearms.

“Stunningly, these extremists say that the real ‘radicals’ are Americans who support reforms to rein in the horror and devastation of gun violence. While these groups claim to represent American gun owners, they are in fact far out of step with most Americans, gun owners included. We hope that this report will help elected officials and voters understand the truth behind the forces that are trying to drag down meaningful gun violence reform.”


People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch monitors and exposes the activities of right-wing movements in the United States.

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Rep. Horsford’s Statement on PBO’s Call for Gun Violence Reduction

Washington DC – Today, after the President’s call to action to address the epidemic of gun violence, Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-4) released the following statement:

“I approach gun safety as a parent of three young children and the son of a father who lost his life to gun violence. My daughter is the same age as the kids whose lives were taken from them, and my heart still breaks for the victims in Newtown. It is time for us to step up: if we can prevent another mass shooting or save just one life, we have to act.

“There is no single bill that will end the epidemic of gun violence, but we need to do what we can to make sure our children and our communities are safe.

“Universal background checks can help prevent those who are legally prohibited from buying a gun from obtaining what can become a dangerous weapon. Military-style assault weapons do not belong on our streets, and neither do high-capacity magazines that are designed to inflict maximum damage.

“This is not about taking guns away from law-abiding citizens. I support the Second Amendment and the right of individuals to bear arms for recreation, hunting, or self-defense. That does not mean we cannot have reasonable gun laws to keep military designed weapons out of our neighborhoods and communities. We need to come together as a country and have a serious conversation about how to make our malls, movie theaters, and schools safe again.”

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