Reposted from Mr. Grassroots by Glen The Plumber
Rep. Robin Kelly attended a celebration for what would have been Blair Holt's 23rd birthday to lend her support to the Blair Holt Memorial Foundation. Rep. Kelly said about the movement, "It is important that we keep up the fight for common sense gun control and violence prevention and the Blair Holt Foundation is doing important work on this front." Also in the photo; left to right, Annette Nance-Holt (mother of Blair Holt - CFD), Rep. Robin Kelly, Camiella D. Williams (grassroots gun reform advocate) and Ronald Holt (father of Blair Holt - CPD).
The National Rifle Association (NRA) and its monopoly on the "final word" on guns and the Second Amendment, coming to an end thanks to Rep. Robin Kelly's emergence on the national stage as an articulate national spokesperson for "common sense" gun reform. The NRA has taken notice and don't like what they see.
On Jan. 8, 2015, near the beginning of the 114th Congress, Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives known as H.R. 224. Simply stated, the bill would require the United States Surgeon General of the Public Health Service to submit to Congress an annual report on the effects of gun violence on public health. Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of H.R 224, and annually thereafter, the "U.S. Surgeon General of the Public Health Service shall submit to Congress a report on the effects on public health of gun violence in the United States during the relevant period, and the status of actions taken to address such effects."
Simple stuff, right? Wrong, at least according to the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), which is now on record as opposing H.R. 224. Did I write "opposing?" My error, I should have wrote "strongly opposes."
Congresswoman Robin Kelly responded to the NRA attack piece, with a statement she released to this writer:
In the interest of staying above the fray and focusing on constructive discourse about gun safety, I've long ignored the NRA's vicious, dishonest and irrational attacks on me and my efforts to reduce gun violence in America.
But first and foremost, I am not anti-gun. I come from a family of policemen and recreational hunters and respect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens to own guns. I've never been anti-gun. However, I am proudly and unabashedly pro-common sense gun reform that respects the Second Amendment while also respecting the right of every American to live free from the threat of gun violence. I believe we can strike this balance and that reasonable, rational and responsible gun owners agree.
I ask the NRA, why imbue the debate on gun reform with such venom and vitriol if you truly believe you're on the side of right? An argument is only diminished when delivered with disrespect. And with this particular piece of legislation - the call for the U.S. Surgeon General to investigate the public health impact of gun violence - there is an opportunity to finally put one aspect of the gun debate to rest. If the NRA is so convinced that there are no public health effects of gun violence and that the very premise that American society suffers from a gun violence epidemic is false, then I say support my bill, which amounts to commissioning a study on the issue, and prove me wrong.
If the truth is truly what the NRA seeks, if they are not merely paying lip service to the concept of gun safety, then join me in investigating the true impact of gun violence in America and if, as I suspect, we discover that gun violence is a slow-motion plague afflicting our nation, I ask them to work with me to find solutions that save lives while preserving the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
That's a call I'd like to see them issue to their members rather than riling them up to come after me based on lies, gross distortions of my position on gun reform and attacks on my character.
Because it's not about me.
It's about the 30,000 Americans who die each year from gun violence and about the thousands more who live in fear daily because their basic right to personal safety is threatened by gun violence in their communities. We owe it to them to elevate the debate and put forth a good faith effort to solve our nation's gun violence problem. I'm all in and I ask the NRA, where are you?
Why all of a sudden is the NRA-ILA so concerned with a harmless piece of legislation introduced by a member of the minority party in the House of Representatives? It is because Rep. Robin Kelly is no ordinary member of the minority party in the House of Representatives.
It was Rep. Robin Kelly that not only won a 2013 special election in the Democratic primary against a crowded field, defeating 11 candidates on Feb. 2013, Kelly also defeated the the NRA and made clear in the campaign she was running as much against the NRA as she was her many opponents.
The timing of the NRA-ILA posting coincides with a recent Roll Call piece in which Rep. Kelly expressed an interest in running for the Democratic nomination for United States Senate in Illinois in 2016. The NRA-ILA understand the stakes involved, should Rep. Kelly defeat Senator Mark Kirk. Winning back the "Barack Obama" seat would mean the Democrats would be one seat closer to regaining the majority in the U.S. Senate.