With Election Day on the horizon, a number of gun control groups made it clear this week their candidate of choice to fill the White House is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Clinton, who has a broad package of gun control initiatives as a key part of her platform to curb what she terms as an epidemic of gun violence, already has the backing of the Brady Campaign, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety and former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords’ Americans for Responsible Solutions.
Joining that list Tuesday was a coalition of 16 small groups to include the Newtown Action Alliance, States United to Prevent Gun Violence Action Fund, CeaseFire Pennsylvania, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, and Rabbis Against Gun Violence.
“The 2016 Election is one of the most consequential for the gun violence prevention movement,” Po Murray, head of the Newtown Action Alliance, said in a statement emailed to Guns.com. “For four long years since the Sandy Hook School shooting, Congress has failed to take any action to strengthen the nation’s lax gun laws. Since that tragic day, Congressional inaction has contributed to 400,000 Americans being killed or injured by guns and increasing incidents of mass shootings that have devastated more and more communities across the nation.”
In addition to the announcement Tuesday, the Coalition to Stop Handgun Violence on Wednesday went all-in for Clinton, issuing an endorsement that praised her platform of gun restrictions — while blasting a potential Trump presidency.
“Donald Trump has embraced the gun lobby’s irresponsible rhetoric and policies that contribute to our nation’s gun violence epidemic,” reads a statement from the CSGV emailed to Guns.com. “The NRA has broken its campaign advertising record by spending at least $26 million to help elect Trump. At best, a Trump administration would simply accept the status quo on gun violence in America. At worst, Trump and the NRA would dismantle existing laws that keep guns out of dangerous hands and instigate violence.”
While it may seem Clinton was the obvious choice for those in favor of moving the needle towards more gun control in Washington, it should be pointed out that the groups could have elected to not endorse a candidate, or thrown their weight behind a third-party campaign. For instance, the Green Party’s Jill Stein has an even more draconian take on gun regulation and disarmament than Clinton and the Democrats.
When delving into the campaign finance, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Clinton has thus raised $616 million this election cycle compared to Trump’s more modest $452 million with gun politics groups contributing a fraction of this total in either camp.
Second Amendment groups, including the NRA and their Institute for Legislative Action have spent at least $26.8 million to help Trump get to the White House. Two other large gun rights groups, Gun Owners of America and the National Association of Gun Rights, have restricted their limited spending this year to a handful of congressional races.