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Thursday, September 12, 2013

NRA bullying pays off in recall elections

Tuesday was a big win by the NRA (National Rifle Association) in their recall election of two Colorado State Democrats who voted for minor gun regulations. With bullying and crying like little babies because they didn’t get their way on one issue, voters caved in and gave them what they wanted. And it was a big victory for Republicans who can now gain an edge in their right-wing agenda in that state.
The NRA may be supporting gun rights, which alone is nothing bad, but they are run by right-wing whack jobs that have become the equivalent of Adolf Hitler’s brown shirts for the Republican Tea Party. The two Democrats recalled were Senate President John Morse (Colorado Springs) and state Sen. Angela Giron (Pueblo). The new laws they helped pass required background checks for all firearm purchases and bans ammunition magazines over 15 rounds. Those are not extreme bans on guns. The NRA originally tried to recall two other Democrats but couldn’t get enough signatures.
 The NRA relied on the usual Republican tactics of low voter turnout and in this election people couldn’t vote by mail. According to the Huff  Post:

“While voter turnout is typically low in recall elections, Democrats accused pro-recall activists of engaging in voter suppression tactics. A big blow to Morse and Giron was a ruling that prohibited voting by mail in the election, even though Colorado voters have overwhelmingly relied on mail-in ballots in the past. The decision ignored a state law passed earlier this year that guaranteed a ballot by mail to every registered voter in Colorado, including in a recall election.”

And worst of all, the NRA used their usual tactics of voter intimidation and bullying. Again in the Huff Post;

A get-out-the-vote canvasser for Giron, who requested anonymity out of safety concerns, said gun rights activists also engaged in "extreme voter intimidation" at polling centers in Pueblo on Tuesday.
"We had to call the police on a van of four huge guys staking out our staging location," the canvasser told Huff Post. "Volunteers are being followed, threatened, having their pictures taken and yelled at. We're now being told that it's bad enough to call 911 immediately."

The Koch brothers got involved using their advocacy group Americans For Prosperity. There is little doubt that such conservative groups saw this recall as an opportunity to increase their anti-worker—pro-business agenda now that two Republicans will take the place of these recalled politicians. The NRA is one of those one-issue-groups that allow organizations with a much broader agenda to push their views. Many people voted strictly over gun issues without worrying about other repercussions, such as abortion restrictions, union suppression, restricting health care access to the poor and attacks on the public school system.
Markos Moulitsas, Founder and Publisher of the Daily Kos sees this as just the beginning of a fight against the NRA;

“The NRA might have won last night, but it won’t last long. They know that public opinion is against them in a huge way. They know that demographics are moving against them in a huge way. They know that their victories will be fewer and farther between moving forward. And they know now that we have the people power to fight them every inch of the way until we win.”

The NRA has become part of the new right-wing oppressive wave that is sweeping across this country and there is nothing progressive about them. I don’t support suppressing guns but I don’t want or need the help of the NRA to support my gun rights. It’s not criminals they want to shoot, it’s minorities and liberals.

-សតិវ អតុ                          

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