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Bloomberg, concerned moms aim to mess with Texas gun laws
Al Jazeera America ^ | May 1, 2014 | Carolyn Jones

Posted on 05/03/2014 11:11:59 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

AUSTIN, Texas — Central Texas Gun Works is in a nondescript strip mall in the southern part of Texas’ capital city. It’s a gun store and firearm training center that’s located, somewhat improbably, two doors down from an acupuncture center. Customers can buy handguns and long guns, as well as a miniature pink firearm with “My First Rifle” engraved on the stock. Posters from the National Rifle Association gild the waiting room. T-shirts saying “Buy a Gun. Annoy a Liberal” are also for sale.

It’s into this Texas microcosm that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has dropped a depth charger.

Using $50 million of his personal fortune, Bloomberg last month launched a coalition to champion issues like mandatory background checks for private firearm sales. Called Everytown for Gun Safety, the alliance, which has rolled out in 15 states including Texas, intends to counter the cultural and political might of gun rights groups by introducing legislative reform in statehouses. It focuses not on the limitation of gun rights — a red flag to Second Amendment advocates — but on the reduction of the types of violence brought about by lax gun-safety laws. Everytown will concentrate on the lack of background checks in private sales, gun ownership’s role in domestic violence, fatalities among children who accidentally fire a weapon, and the everyday gun violence experienced by inner city communities.

But even with this soft messaging, frontier states like Texas won’t make it an easy sell. Gun ownership in Texas crosses political lines. While local Republican politicians run on a Second Amendment rights platform as a matter of course, even Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Wendy Davis proclaimed her support for the open carry of handguns. During the last legislative session, conservative legislators successfully passed a number of pro-gun bills, including one that reduced the number of training hours required for concealed handgun owners to get a license.

Michael Cargill, Central Texas Gun Works’ owner, is emblematic of the slippery Texas gun story.

A courteous and powerfully built man in cowboy boots, he fits into a typically Lone Star stereotype of Western masculinity. But he’s also black and openly gay, which are far less associated with people in his position. Cargill became an instructor after his grandmother was mugged and raped. The incident motivated him to offer firearm lessons — which he said have an enrollment of 5,000 and are female-dominated — to empower women.

Keeping one stern eye on the store’s security camera feed while talking to Al Jazeera, Cargill said he isn’t cavalier about gun safety. As a licensed gun dealer, he said, he studiously runs federal background checks on his buyers. He ships online orders only to other licensed dealers. His clients are responsible folk, he emphasized, who wish to learn firearm safety and compliance with Texas regulations — of which, he added archly, there are many.

But to Cargill, rampant gun violence is a manufactured problem of the left. He dismissed claims that preventable crimes occur when firearms fall into the wrong hands.

“Why focus our attention on firearms when the number of handguns used in a crime is so small compared to automobile fatalities?” he asked.

Moreover, he believes the volume of private gun sales is small compared with those that happen in gun shops like his. And regarding those transactions that occur between private individuals or at a gun show? A seller of a secondhand car isn’t required to vet the buyer, he argued, so why impose such regulation on the firearm trade?

Yet for gun-safety advocates, that private sale loophole, which requires no background check and which they argue applies to 40 percent (PDF) of gun exchanges in the U.S., is precisely what they hope to regulate.

At the launch of Everytown for Gun Safety in Austin, state Rep. Elliott Naishtat announced that some House members plan to introduce “reasonable gun control measures” in the next legislative session. This might include the expansion of background checks for private sales and gun shows, though he later told Al Jazeera that the details are still evolving.

Bloomberg’s Everytown coalition may provide the extra firepower that legislators like Naishtat need. Incorporating Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which claims nearly 1,000 mayors as members, as well as prominent Texas board members like Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo and Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Everytown hopes to increase its Lone Star traction. The group’s advocacy arm will provide voters with candidate scorecards for the congressional midterms, while a voter campaign aims to mobilize voters toward politicians that support gun safety.

The mom factor

But the real game changer may be the deployment of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the group that launched after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and that claims 150,000 members (PDF) across the U.S. By deploying mothers as field workers to galvanize the much-desired women’s vote, Everytown intends to add emotional force to local legislative efforts. Indeed, if Everytown’s first video spot about what happens when a little girl discovers an unsecured gun is anything to go by, a visceral response from the would-be voter is exactly what the group is going for.

Moms Demand Action is gathering momentum in Texas. Claiming upwards of 2,000 supporters in the state, the group has chapters in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston, spokeswoman Stephanie Lundy said. Last year in Austin, its lobbying efforts contributed to the cancellation of a major gun show permit when the organizers refused to implement mandatory background checks. More recently, Moms Demand Action inveigled its way into a legislative committee hearing to which only gun rights groups had been invited. The group’s grassroots events, which are something of a blend between a neighborhood block party and an urgent moral crusade, will appeal to parents’ roles as community guardians.

“Our moms in Texas are looking for leaders who vote for common-sense gun laws, for gun laws that protect their children,” Lundy said. “If there are leaders that are not voting to protect children, then they will be voted out of office and replaced. It’s as simple as that.”

‘Personal liberties’

Moms Demand Action’s mainstream appeal is advanced perhaps by its polar opposites in the political arena. Open Carry Texas, a Second Amendment rights advocacy group whose members appear outside most Moms events bearing assault rifles, exists to educate Texans about their legal right to carry long arms in public. According to its Facebook pages, it has chapters in 40 Texas counties and tallies more than 4,000 members.

To bemused onlookers browsing stalls at the Texas Book Festival or stuck in traffic jams, its members proselytize about liberty while carrying rifles slung across their backs. But there’s a misogynist edge to their work, too. Open Carry Texas members frequently level sexually violent threats against Moms activists on Facebook and Twitter. Last month, when a Plano woman, intimidated by the sight of armed gunmen on the street, called the police, Open Carry Texas obtained a recording of the call and published the woman’s name and number on YouTube. The woman received so many threatening calls from gun rights advocates that she changed her number, Lundy said.

Outside the venue of Everytown’s launch in Austin, a small clutch of armed people stood waving flags bearing a logo from the Texas War of Independence. Their spokesman, James Everard, an eight-year Army combat veteran from Killeen, made the familiar argument about the freedoms enjoyed by sellers of secondhand cars.

“This is all about personal liberties,” he said, noting that “most responsible firearms dealers won’t sell to people they don’t know.”

A press statement issued by the group later that day likened Everytown to Nazi Germany and warned of Bloomberg’s intention to “bind the hands of law-abiding citizens [in an] ever-expanding ocean of tyranny.”

But rhetoric like this only galvanizes the work of Moms Demand Action.

And public opinion may be on the group’s side. A nonpartisan poll conducted by the University of Texas at Austin last year found that Texans overwhelmingly support background checks for all gun sales in the U.S. It’s this kind of “common sense” law that Everytown and its mass of politicized moms hope to enable.

“Texas is a significant state, culturally and legislatively,” said Kellye Burke, chapter leader for Moms Demand Action–Texas. “When we have women making waves in Texas, it’s motivating to women in small towns everywhere.”


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: banglist; bloomberg; guncontrol; texas

1 posted on 05/03/2014 11:11:59 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Texans need to “cowboy up” and run these maggots back up to New Yawk.


2 posted on 05/03/2014 11:18:50 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Obama's smidgens are coming home to roost.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

What the hell is a “depth charger”? Stupid reporters (and editors)!


3 posted on 05/03/2014 11:47:21 PM PDT by jim-x (9/11/2001 - Never forget, Never forgive.)
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To: jim-x
What the hell is a “depth charger”? Stupid reporters (and editors)! Hey, this report is from alJazeera, I'm sure they're quite knowlegable when it comes to explosives, if you get my drift...
4 posted on 05/03/2014 11:56:47 PM PDT by Impala64ssa (You call me an islamophobe like it's a bad thing.)
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To: Impala64ssa

The cunning stunt who wrote that PR for Bloomturd is an Austin bimbo.


5 posted on 05/04/2014 12:16:14 AM PDT by Yehuda (Search youtube and listen to "Islams Not For Me".)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Not one dollar spent on disarming the Bloods, the Crips, the Tong, the Russian Mafia, La Raza, etc.


6 posted on 05/04/2014 12:27:20 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners. And to the NSA trolls, FU)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Our moms in Texas are looking for leaders who vote for common-sense gun laws...

"Common sense" gun laws in Texas is exactly what my State Rep. Stephanie Klick here in Texas wants also. She tries to get most of the existing gun restrictions REMOVED from Texas statutes. She is for "open carry", "Constitutional Carry", etc. So, she is definitely FOR sensible gun laws!

7 posted on 05/04/2014 12:47:49 AM PDT by TexasRedeye (Eschew Obfuscation)
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To: NTHockey

Not one dollar spent on disarming the Bloods, the Crips, the Tong, the Russian Mafia, La Raza, etc.

Not to mention the hundreds of Federal Agency armed enforcement teams without a shred of Constitutional authority to exist.

...and what is it about al jazeera that draws them to a discussion of limiting gun rights in America? A question that will remain unanswered, but the answer better be uppermost in your mind.

If you think this is “for the children”, think again.


8 posted on 05/04/2014 2:12:11 AM PDT by wita
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To: FlingWingFlyer

Many Texas towns are very crime free near the border but step 2 mi accross and you have mass graves.

Bloomberg and his so called concerned mums need to be dragged by the collar to see what it is they are all about and then a picture of them and their success campaign of disarming people except the Cartels be taken.


9 posted on 05/04/2014 2:14:30 AM PDT by lavaroise (A well regulated gun being necessary to the state, the rights of the militia shall not be infringed)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
 photo POO_zps940573cc.jpg
10 posted on 05/04/2014 3:32:25 AM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Here we have a little man who refused to confront the gang violence in his city parading around as an anti gun advocate yet he failed in this miserably. If all guns were removed from society the gangbangers would still be armed and a threat to us all. This little man has a little mind andits damaged beyond repair


11 posted on 05/04/2014 3:33:16 AM PDT by ronnie raygun
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

My healthcare begins with the right of effective self defense.


12 posted on 05/04/2014 3:39:28 AM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Anything from Al-Jazeera is suspect, especially when generated by a local stringer (in this case, Austin).

That’s how they hide their al-Qaeda connection and don’t sound Ay-rab in the article itself.

After all, the Koran says that “infidels” shouldn’t have weapons.


13 posted on 05/04/2014 4:02:18 AM PDT by elcid1970
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
It's not about gun control as much as it's about control. Bloomberg wants to impose his own lifestyle choices on everyone else.

Bloomie is smart enough to know that if he really wanted to do something about a problem and knew where the problem was, that it's neither sane nor logical to focus efforts everywhere except where the problem lies.

"Among racial and ethnic groups, blacks are over-represented among gun homicide victims; blacks were 55% of shooting homicide victims in 2010, but 13% of the population."


14 posted on 05/04/2014 5:03:14 AM PDT by Sooth2222 ("Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself." M.Twain)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Typical New York liberals.

They have made their own homes and lives toxic disasters, but spend their time yelling across the backyard fence telling their neighbors how to run their lives.


15 posted on 05/04/2014 5:07:34 AM PDT by Iron Munro (Malaysia Flight MH370 Black Box signals reported in Bermuda Triangle)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“A nonpartisan poll conducted by the University of Texas at Austin...”

They do “nonpartisan” polls at the University of Minnesota and the University of California-Berkeley, too. And worth about the same.


16 posted on 05/04/2014 5:09:01 AM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: Sooth2222

Yep! It is about control of people. They are not against guns per say. They are against you and me owning guns. As long as their agents [the police] are the only ones to have them, it is fine. Close your eyes and imagine, for a minute, what would have happened at the Bundy ranch if the BLM and Sheriff’s SWAT Team had been the only ones with guns. They would still be burying people.


17 posted on 05/04/2014 5:09:43 AM PDT by sport
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

” It focuses not on the limitation of gun rights — a red flag to Second Amendment advocates — but on the reduction of the types of violence brought about by lax gun-safety laws.”

There are THREE THINGS to look for regarding any “gun legislation”. IF you answer yes to any of the three questions, then you are limiting gun rights.

First, will it increase the cost to acquire or own a gun?
On this one, for private sales, who pays for the mandatory background checks and being processed through a licensed dealer? One guess.

Second, can it (or will it) create a gun ownership database?
Why is it necessary to take down the serial number of a gun when doing a background check on the buyer? I’m still waiting for that answer.

Third, does it decrease the utility of gun ownership?
Example would be something like what it takes to use a legally-owned gun for self-defense in California, at least when I lived there. Shooting the bad guy in your house is enough for the homeowner to stay out of criminal charges, but there is a good chance of a lawsuit. What you really want to do is draw him into your bedroom and then shoot him...at that point it’s unlikely that a lawyer will pick up the case. Also, look at all of the now-illegal guns in Connecticut. What happens when you use yours, in your home, in a legitimate life-threatening situation? In other words, you now have to think very hard before using that gun you tucked away.


18 posted on 05/04/2014 5:10:27 AM PDT by BobL
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Don’t fall for that “background investigation” trick. When they investigate you in reference to buying a gun, they will find something disqualify you if you are not of the persuasion they wish to be armed. Whether it is there or not.


19 posted on 05/04/2014 5:14:38 AM PDT by sport
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To: Impala64ssa; jim-x; Yehuda
LOL

Al-Jazeera, openly "Gay" black guy in cowboy boots, handguns, busy body moms, and Bloomberg.

This story has a lot of moving parts.

20 posted on 05/04/2014 5:25:14 AM PDT by Rome2000
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To: basil; txhurl

2nd amendment ping.


21 posted on 05/04/2014 6:22:12 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (The Second Amendment is NOT about the right to hunt. It IS a right to shoot tyrants.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Why are New Yawkers always concerned about Texas. Texans aren’t concerned about New Yawkers. Bloomberg needs to mind his own business, not ours. Leave us be.

BTW, when was the last time you heard someone say “GOD Bless New Yawk”?


22 posted on 05/04/2014 6:36:13 AM PDT by Texicanus (Texas, it's a whole 'nother country.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The NY sewer rat infestation needs to be confined to NY.


23 posted on 05/04/2014 6:47:04 AM PDT by windsorknot
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Second Amendment Sisters is also based in Texas. In fact, we are based very near the Austin city limits.

These women certainly don’t speak for us!


24 posted on 05/04/2014 7:13:30 AM PDT by basil (2ASisters.org)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

***”...common-sense gun laws, for gun laws that protect their children,”***

Strange. That is what they told us back in 1962 when they “ONLY wanted to register handguns. Long guns would not be affected”.


25 posted on 05/04/2014 7:13:42 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Sometimes you need 7+ more ammo. LOTS MORE.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
That title sounds too long and "clunky". May I suggest something more "catchy" like Moms Impugning Legal Firefarms.
26 posted on 05/04/2014 8:11:14 AM PDT by Impala64ssa (You call me an islamophobe like it's a bad thing.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I have an idea for a counter video to answer the so called "moms" video of the kid finding a gun.

It begins with a woman with her young daughter in the mom`s bedroom talking about how she`s a member of that anti-gun group and that guns should be banned.

Then a couple of dirty and freightening faces appear in a patio door window behind them and a couple scummy looking thugs smash it and enter into the room.

One grabs the mom and puts a large French Chef`s knife to her neck as the other grabs the daughter and puts a large hunting knife to her`s, the camera pans away to a poster of their group as the blood curdling screams of the mom and her daughter are heard and then the video abruptly ends.

27 posted on 05/04/2014 4:34:50 PM PDT by nomad
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