Weekly Actions: October 9, 2017

Action 1: Continue to take action against NRA interference in  common-sense gun laws.

Action 2: Take steps to stop the president’s war-mongering against North Korea and to prevent a nuclear first-strike.

Action 3: Urge Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act  



Action 1: Continue to take action against NRA interference in  common-sense gun  legislation.

MoCs on both sides of the aisle are starting to consider legislation to outlaw bump-stocks, the device used in the Las Vegas shooting that enabled the rifles to fire at nearly the rate of  machine guns (which have long been banned). However, there are still several concerning pieces of legislation that would move us backwards with regards to common sense gun safety.

 

While the NRA has expressed modified support for outlawing bump-stocks, they would rather see this as a regulation written by the White House. More worrisomely, the NRA has had the audacity to support the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would virtually nullify gun laws in states that prohibit open carry (a threat to local sovereignty and democracy, no less public safety).

 

Despite the fact that a majority of Americans, including Republicans, favor common sense gun laws, Republicans in the House are so worried about their NRA ratings that, just two days after the Vegas shooting, they blocked a vote to establish a bi-partisan commission to study gun violence. And time and time again, they’ve voted against allowing basic research on gun violence, a necessary step in crafting laws that will truly keep us safer.

 

Central to the problem is the number of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle who receive NRA donations. As long as our representatives care more about their pocketbooks than about the people they are supposed to be serving, it’s going to be tough to get them to prioritize our safety. And make no mistake, solutions do exist. We just need the political will to make them happen.

 

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO: 

  • Demand that your rep refuse all contributions from the NRA: You can find out if s/he has taken contributions here. (If your rep hasn’t taken contributions from the NRA, make sure to thank him/her.)
  • Ask your MoCs to support legislation to ban bumpstocks and to vote against the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (S 446/HR 38): Details can be found here.
  • Check out our to-do list on this issue from last week for organizations to support, information to read, and other gun laws potentially coming up for a vote. The SHARE Act, which deregulates gun suppressors/silencers, is on hold right now, probably due to the emotionalism of the moment, but we need to keep the pressure on to make sure that it doesn’t come back to the floor.

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m calling because I’m concerned that Sen./Rep. _________ has received __________ in NRA contributions. The NRA has far too much  influence on Congress and it should not be dictating gun policy. I am appalled that the vote to establish a bi-partisan committee on gun violence was blocked and that research funding is constantly voted down. It is clear that the NRA cares more about profitability than saving lives and I am incensed that Sen./Rep.____________ is cooperating with this agenda. I would like to urge Sen./Rep.___________ to show s/he cares about the safety of Americans more than the interests of the NRA by voting against a ban on bump-stocks, voting against the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, the SHARE Act (House bill), and working across the aisle to develop common sense gun laws, which are supported by the vast majority of Americans. I would also like Sen./Rep.__________ to reject all future contributions from the NRA so s/he can more ethically represent the Americans s/he was voted to serve.  

NOTE: If your Sen./Rep. is not taking contributions from the NRA, thank them, but then continue to ask for votes on the legislation listed.


Action 2: Take steps to stop the president’s war-mongering against North Korea and to prevent a nuclear first-strike.

Tensions continue to  rise between North Korea and the U.S., and our war-mongering President is fanning the flames. From his recent speech at the UN to this weekend’s terrifying tweets, to his telling the Secretary of State not to bother with diplomacy, it is becoming ever more clear that Trump is looking for trouble. Moreover, he’s volatile enough to not only start a war, but to start one where nuclear weapons are on the table.

 

Even more terrifying is that under current law, the President has sole responsibility to give the command to launch a nuclear strike. As Trump’s tortured administration continues, more and more people, from humorist Randy Rainbow to Republican Senator Bob Corker, are reaching the increasingly undeniable conclusion that the President is (to put it mildly) unhinged. Needless to say, this cocktail is a recipe for disaster. No single person should ever be given so much awesome power, let alone an unscrupulous, power-hungry, and unhinged man known to act on his whims and impulses.

 

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO: 

Bills: S. 200: Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017: Prohibits the President from using the Armed Forces to conduct a first-use nuclear strike unless such strike is conducted pursuant to a congressional declaration of war expressly authorizing such strike.

H.R.669: Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017: Prohibits the President from using the Armed Forces to conduct a first-use nuclear strike unless such strike is conducted pursuant to a congressional declaration of war expressly authorizing such strike.

 

SCRIPT for MoCs: Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m very concerned about the situation in North Korea and I would like to ask Sen./Rep._____ to demand congressional approval before any military action is taken and to vote against military intervention, especially if nuclear weapons are involved. We cannot afford this escalation. I would also like Sen./Rep._____ to join his/her colleagues in signing a letter sent by over 60 representatives to Secretary of State Tillerson urging diplomacy and restraint. Finally, I hope that Sen./Rep._____ will speak up in support of S. 200/H.R. 669, the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act, which would prohibit the President from using the Armed Forces to conduct a first-use nuclear strike unless Congress had declared war. This act has been backed by Former Secretary of Defense William Perry, Joe Biden, and the Council for a Livable World, among others and is a common-sense check on any President’s power. However, the urgency of passing this bill has increased in light of the current administration’s rhetoric and the escalating situation in North Korea. Please tell Sen./Rep._____ to support this bill.

 

SCRIPT (for Tillerson and Mattis): Hi, my name is _____. I’m very concerned about the situation in North Korea and I would like to urge diplomacy and restraint, rather than calls for war. Everyone loses in a nuclear war, so please use your influence to urge the President to back off on his dangerous rhetoric. Thank you.


Action 3: Urge Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act 

The urgency of passing the DREAM Act is increasing, given that October 5th was the last day for DACA renewals. The deportation of roughly 800,000 immigrant youth now hangs in the balance. It’s time to amp up the pressure and get Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act, one untarnished by thoughtless and xenophobic items on the Trump agenda, such as unnecessary further restrictions to immigration, massive funding increases at the border, or the notorious border wall. We are syndicating this action from The Loyal Opposition.

 

Bills: S. 1615: Dream Act of 2017H.R. 3440: Dream Act of 2017

 

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Call your MoCs: You can find more information and scripts here. Be sure to mention that the DREAM Act should not include anti-immigrant policies!

The most effective thing you can do is to pick up the phone,
but if you’re short on time, you can leave a message or video below.