Anti-gun violence advocates target Senator Feinstein's office

Gun legislation rally in front of Senator Dian Fienstein's office in San Francisco.
March 28, 2013 6:44:22 PM PDT
Anti-gun violence events took place across the country on Thursday as part of National Day to Demand Action.

A small group gathered outside the office of Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to support her efforts in passing legislation against gun violence. Called Organizing for Action, the group is asking for universal criminal background checks for anyone who wants to purchase a gun. Their statistics show that 82 percent of gun owners support that proposal.

"The idea of my daughter going to school and having to hide in the bathroom or hide under a desk because there's a crazy person with a gun, it's, I can't take it anymore. But I also don't feel safe taking her to the mall, to the movie theaters," said Caitlin King, a San Francisco mother.

Organizing for Action has gathered over 500 signatures on a petition that they plan to deliver to Congress in April.

Standing with the families of Newtown, Connecticut victims on Thursday, President Barack Obama said his gun control agenda has widespread support with voters but not with Congress.

"Tears aren't enough. Expressions of sympathy aren't enough. Speeches aren't enough. We've cried enough. We've known enough heartbreak. What we're proposing is not radical. It's not taking away anybody's gun rights," he said. "I ask every American to find out where your member of Congress stands on these ideas if they're not part of the 90 percent who agree that we should make it harder for a criminal or somebody with a severe mental illness to buy a gun then you should ask them why not, why are you part of the 10 percent."

The president wants an assault weapons ban, a ban on high capacity ammunition clips, and universal background checks on all gun sales. Of those three, only the background checks have enough support to pass the Senate. And the NRA is pushing back on that.

"It slows down the law abiding and does nothing to anybody else," NRA President Wayne LaPierre said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was in the House 20 years ago when the first assault weapons ban was passed. She says some lawmakers paid a heavy price.

"Members who voted for it gave up their careers," Pelosi said. "They knew if they voted for it they would lose the election but they thought it was worth if it saved lives. And save lives it did."

But ten years later, Congress let the gun ban expire. And at least right now, it doesn't appear there is the support in Congress to bring it back. Hence the president's plea.

"Right now members of Congress are back home in their districts and many of them are holding events where they can hear from their constituents, so I want everyone whose listening to make yourself heard right now," President Obama said.

Polls show there is widespread support for gun control, and a majority even supports another assault weapons ban.


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