Obama-aligned group says gun fight isn't over
May 6th, 2013
03:26 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama-aligned group says gun fight isn't over

(CNN) – The organization formed from President Barack Obama's presidential campaign stressed Monday their fight for tighter restrictions on guns didn't end with the issue's defeat in Congress.

Organizing for Action, which actively promoted Obama's gun control agenda in the months leading up to the April vote, will expand their field effort now that some lawmakers are discussing bringing gun control back up for a vote in Washington.

That includes an expanded field effort, with additional organizers in what Carson called "targeted locations" to help promote Obama's agenda. OFA currently has paid staff in nineteen states.

"We really think a very important way to change the conversation in Washington is to demonstrate support for the president's agenda out in the states," OFA's executive director Jon Carson said on a conference call Monday.

The group's efforts in the lead-up to the vote included blasting emails to their massive distribution list, formed from Obama's two successful presidential bids. Supporters were also encouraged to message their senators and congressmen to ask for votes increasing limits on guns.

Community events were organized with gun violence survivors in districts of potentially swayable senators, a joint effort between OFA and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group headed and partially funded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

And online ads were taken out pressing senators to vote for tighter controls on guns, including lawmakers representing battleground states Obama won in November like New Hampshire, Ohio and Iowa.

Yet of those senators targeted in the small online buy, only two voted for expanding background checks on gun sales – Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a moderate Republican, and Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, a Democrat. Both were considered likely "yes" votes from the beginning stages of the gun control effort.

The April 17 defeat of the bipartisan background checks measure was seen as a major blow to that push, which began after the Newtown elementary shooting in December that left 26 people dead.

After the vote, Obama called out senators who opposed the background checks bill, suggesting they were ignoring the will of the people who elected them.

Noting polls that showed 90% support for such a measure, Obama called it a "pretty shameful day for Washington" and wondered of Congress: "Who are we here to represent?"

And his aligned political group has sought to drive that message home, taking out another round of online ads. Some thank senators for voting in support of the background check bill, but others go after senators who helped defeat the measure.

"Americans have clearly not forgotten the senators who stood with the 90% of Americans who support background checks, and those that didn't," Carson said Monday, adding OFA would "continue to provide support on the ground and on the air to serious efforts to make background checks the law."

That effort has also been undertaken by other pro-gun control groups, including Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns. That organization sent the daughter of the slain principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School to a town hall held by Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who voted against the background checks bill.

The groups' efforts have cast Republicans as overly swayed by gun lobbyists like the National Rifle Association, which opposed the background check measure.

"We'll never be as deep-pocketed or as well-connected as the gun lobby," Carson wrote in an email to supporters earlier Monday. "What we have is better. It's the voices of real Americans who are standing up and saying they've seen enough of gun violence tearing apart communities like Newtown and Tucson and Aurora and Chicago."

OFA said in April it had raised $4.8 million in the first quarter of 2013, from 109,582 donors. The average donation was $44. That was the first report on the financial viability of the group, which officially launched in January.

Filed under: Gun control • President Obama
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    You bet your behind this debate isn't over. Bring the bill back up for a vote. Fine with me. What I won't tolerate is these senators who initially voted NO, to turn around and vote yes. When this bill comes back up for a vote, the senators who voted against it should have their names called out on the Senate floor.

    May 6, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    This nation desperately needs GUN-BAN LAWS. Enough killings.

    May 6, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. Guest

    Organizing For Allah....Obliterating Free America....


    May 6, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. Romney is Still NOT My Hero

    Okay, I give up! Here's my solution to this whole mess... (the NRA will love it) All the Dems and Repubs should all get guns and have a shoot out. Whoever is left standing will get their way. Isn't this the way the NRA wants to solve the gun problems - with MORE guns?

    May 6, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Tea Party Thomas

    We have the right to bear arms. If you liberal freaks can't live with that. Move to England.

    Conservative ideas for a Conservative America.

    Rand Paul 2016

    May 6, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. mogran

    Waste time and energy...gun control ain't gonna happen any time soon!

    May 6, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. PaulG

    Why are prog dems so desperate to disarm America instead of offering real solutions to our violence problems? What proposals would have prevented a maniac from killing his mother to later massacre children with the stolen firearms?

    May 6, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Bob

    Tea Party Thomas

    We have the right to bear arms


    May 6, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. Bob

    "disarm America "

    When you make a bombastic statement like that, with no basis at all in reality, we can simply dismiss everything that comes after it.

    May 6, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    -Tea Party Thomas

    We have the right to bear arms. If you liberal freaks can't live with that. Move to England.

    Conservative ideas for a Conservative America.

    Rand Paul 2016
    No one has questioned that: its only in the paranoid minds a few conservative freaks that they think stockpiling muntions in anticipation of the zombie/UN apocolypse is a productive interpretation of the Second Amendment. By the way, delta-minus, learn some proper grammar and spelling before you post: it makes people question if you really understand the Second Amendment, or if you are simply a chimp who thinks the central message of the Aqua Budda really is " Every man for himself.".

    May 6, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    I was listening to the Mike Huckabee radio show this morning and in regard to the NRA convention last week, he basically told his listeners that it doesn't matter what stance a candidate has on any issue, as long as they are pro-gun, anti-choice and pro "traditional" marriage.

    This, folks, is the reason why so many Repubs vote against their own self-interest: The GOP feeds them pro-gun, anti-choice, anti-gay candidates who then vote for failed economic, military and foreign policies. Our nation's economy ends up in the toilet and we end up embroiled in endless wars.

    It's all part of the GOP's overall strategy of turning us into a third-world nation where the top 1% own and control everything, all we manufacture are weapons of war, and religious police keep the masses in line.

    May 6, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. sonny chapman

    The NRA has Declared WAR on the 90% of Americans who support expanding the existing Background checks on the purchase of firearms to on-line & Gun Show Sales by current laws. Who's the Nuts ? Oh yeah, it's also now an Open Culture War on what was a simmering guerrilla Culture War. Glenn Beck is the Prez. of The Nation of Xenophobes.

    May 6, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. chris young

    we already have back ground checks, have had them for years. they work just fine...

    May 6, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  14. chris young

    First of all this 90% is a lie to some extent. we do support back ground checks.. we already have them. What we dont support is expanding them and making it more difficult for law abiding citizens. We dont agree to a regestration of any kind and that is what obama wants.. the problem is gangs, criminals, and a basic disreguard for other human beings which is stemed from the liberal "its not my fault" agenda.. how about some personal responsibility these days?

    May 6, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  15. Ed1

    Chris Young

    That about hits the nail on the head and if people would go to the Senate web site and see section 122 transfer of guns you would see another reason it didn't pass.

    I would be willing to bet just like Nancy in the House didn't read the Obamacare bill the vast majority if the Senate including Obama and Biden didn't read this bill either.

    You can't fix stupid only vote them out.

    May 6, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. Peace

    The battle is not over, until is over. The greatest national on earth can not compete with Somalia on who is more looser in handling guns.

    May 6, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |