Gun control advocates gather in the shadow of the NRA

April 25th, 2014 at 2:58 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

The NRA Convention is the reason why a number of gun control advocates from around the county are also gathered in Indianapolis.

They want universal background checks on all gun sales and they say a majority of NRA members agree.  Their beef is with the NRA leadership.  They say the NRA has become a Washington lobby run by extremists.

They jammed into a conference room in a downtown high rise to share emotional stories of gun violence as members, said one, of a club that no one wants to belong to.

Tom Sullivan is one of them.  His son Alex died in the Aurora, Colorado theatre shooting.  “Alex was not in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said.

Alex had gone to the movies that night with co-workers planning to celebrate his birthday, a birthday, his dad says, that lasted only 38 minutes.

“Wherever someone wants me to speak I’d be happy to come and try to talk to them,” Sullivan says.

He appears in a TV ad that will air in Indianapolis this weekend.  “It’s going to take every survivor, everytown to build a safer America,” the ad says.

He’s been to the Statehouse in Colorado and to Washington, DC..

“Universal background checks on all gun sales is a start,” he said. “In my state of Colorado we passed just such a law last year and it is working.”

And now he’s here with the mother of Jordan Davis, who was shot and killed in Florida because his music was too loud.

“Moms, stand up, speak out,” she said.  “For the lives you save may very well be your own.”

And with state Representative Ed DeLaney, the survivor of an attempted murder.

“We need to get off pretending to be protecting gun owners and get on to protecting people,” he said.

They are all trying to change public opinion and Sullivan explains it by saying, “It’s just to talk about it.  Talk to your neighbors about it and then go talk to your politicians about it.”

And then hope that both they and the NRA listen.

The gun control advocates also released a study today titled “Not Your Grandparents’ NRA.”

It makes the case that the NRA has shifted from an organization focused on hunting and safety training to one that opposes any reforms that would keep guns out of what it calls “dangerous hands.”

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