Everytown is sending out questionnaires ahead of the November Congressional elections in America.
Former New York City Mayor, billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s new pro-gun control organization has announced plans to begin its lobbying efforts ahead of the November, 2014, midterm Congressional elections. Everytown for Gun Safety intends to survey all Congressional candidates, to determine their positions on gun safety legislation.
The organization will send all candidates for the US Senate and House of Representatives a ten-part questionnaire. The questions can be reviewed by anyone at Everytown’s website where the nonprofit lobbying group states:
“Unlike the NRA, we’re making our questionnaire available to the public. And we’re asking our supporters to take the questionnaire to see how easy it is for candidates to make their positions clear.”
The questionnaire, which can be downloaded in a PDF format, first tells people that it is asking the questions of politicians because 86 Americans die each day from guns. It explains that results of the questionnaire will be used to determine whether or not to support a candidate in a given election.
The first question is, “Do you agree that we can do more to both keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and protect the rights of responsible, law-abiding people?”
It then asks basic questions, such as does the respondent support background checks before a gun can be purchased and does he or she believe that there should be a ban on the sale of gun magazines that can hold more than ten bullets.
After the questions are completed, the online version asks respondents if they would sign the following declaration:
“I pledge to support local, state and federal candidates who will fight for common-sense laws to reduce gun violence.”
This pledge is part of Everytown’s effort to mobilize one million Americans to vote in the mid-term elections for those candidates who pledge to support gun safety measures. The website suggests that more than 650, 000 have already signed.
Everytown President John Feinblatt told The Washington Post, “People deserve in this country to know where candidates stand on reasonable gun measures. For too long, the gun lobbyists had the field to themselves. You don’t build a counterweight to the gun lobby overnight. We’re in this for the long haul.”
Mitch Stewart, formerly the Obama campaign’s battleground-states director and now a political consultant advising Everytown, added, “We’re going to be very, very data-driven, metrics-driven, making sure that we identify the people who care about this issue.”
Former Mayor Bloomberg has committed to spend $50 million of his personal fortune on Everytown. When he made the announcement about the new organization, in April, Bloomberg said that he founded it to counter the $20 million a year spent on political lobbying activities by America’s National Rifle Association, which opposes all gun control legislation.
Bloomberg feels that a majority of Americans support stricter background checks before guns can be purchased, as well as other measures to limit automatic weapons, but that the US Congress fails to pass any new gun laws because of the NRA’s influence.