In the first election since Newtown candidate with an ‘A’ from NRA gets an ‘F’ from votersby David Pinar on Feb. 27, 2013, under Pol. & Govt.
Former Illinois legislator Robin Kelly, who campaigned trumpeting her “F” rating from the NRA and her support for an assault weapons ban, won 52% of the vote in a crowded 16 candidate race for the Democratic nomination in the special election to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Illinois CD02. Her closest competitor, former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson, won only 25% of the vote. Havorson touted her “A” rating from the NRA and her opposition to nearly all forms of gun control. While Ms. Kelly is black and Halvorson is white, race was not considered a factor as Kelly won 56% of the vote in the part of the district predominately black within the city of Chicago and she won 58% of the vote in racially mixed portion of the district in suburban Cook County.
The issue of improved gun control and the NRA clearly was a factor. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg targeted the race, with his Super Pac Independence USA pouring more than $2 million into the race by airing anti-gun ads in her favor and against Halvorson. After casting her ballot in the snowy weather that pelted the area Tuesday, Halvorson warned that if the ads were successful Bloomberg would try to “buy seats” across the country. Well, (former) political mastermind Karl Rove poured over $300 million into the November election and he wasn’t able to “buy” many seats. But if Mr. Bloomberg and others want to put money into races to highlight the candidate’s position on improved gun control and let voters decide, I say please do!
The NRA is very fond of saying “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. Perhaps, and people can kill other people with other things. Like a knife. But a knife has many other uses – it’s very useful in food preparation and eating food. And people can kill people with axes or hatchets, but those are also very useful in cutting trees and branches. And people can kill people with a hammer, but a hammer is also very useful in pounding nails – just watch the thumbs! But a semi-automatic assault rifle with 30 round ammo clip? Not a single other use, except inflicting maximum casualties on a field of battle – which is exactly what they were designed for. And our current level of background checks are very useful in preventing convicted felons and others prohibited from owning a firearm from purchasing a gun. Except all they have to do is go to a gun “show” and buy them from an unlicensed gun dealer with no background check, no questions asked.
Universal background checks and assault weapon ban are important and reasonable steps to take to curb our increasingly horrific gun violence. If that can’t pass our current Congress, we need to -and will – elect more Robin Kellys.