Over at the Tax Policy Center: The View from The Roasterie LXXXII: January 24, 2014
For the Weekend: LEGO Movie...

Ceasefire Oregon Fundraiser: Push Universal Background Checks Across the Line in Oregon

This is the first and it will be the only fundraiser for domestic causes on this weblog. If this weblog has ever been of use or entertainment to you, you owe me, and I am asking for you to pay it forward now and contribute to Ceasefire Oregon: $1, $10, $100, $1000, $10,000, $100,000--whatever it is worth to you.

And let me give the microphone to Gabby Giffords and then to Mike DeLong:

Anne Laurie: Gabby Giffords Is A Genuine Bad-Arse: "Apparently skydiving was one of the pleasures it was assumed Ms. Giffords would never again enjoy. Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane may not be my idea of a good time, but kudos to her for not letting a sadsack with a gun stop her. Yesterday, in the NYTimes:

[T]hree years ago, dispatched to an almost certain death by an assassin’s bullet, I was allowed the opportunity for a new life. I had planned to spend my 40s continuing my public service and starting a family.... Instead, I’ve spent the past three years learning how to talk again, how to walk again. I had to learn to sign my name with my left hand. It’s gritty, painful, frustrating work, every day. Rehab is endlessly repetitive. And it’s never easy, because once you’ve mastered some movement or action or word, no matter how small, you move on to the next. You never rest.

I asked myself, if simply completing a normal day requires so much work, how would I ever be able to fulfill a larger purpose? The killing of children at the school in Sandy Hook a little over a year ago gave me my answer. It shocked me, it motivated me, and frankly, it showed me a path. After that day, my husband and I pledged to make it our mission to change laws and reduce gun violence in a way that was consistent with our moderate beliefs and our identities as proud gun owners.... We will seize on consensus where it exists, on solutions big or small... fight for every inch.... I’ve seen grit overcome paralysis. My resolution today is that Congress achieve the same. How? Step by step: Enhance enforcement by passing a law making gun trafficking a serious crime with stiff penalties. Make it illegal for all stalkers and all domestic abusers to buy guns. Extend mental health resources into schools and communities, so the dangerously mentally ill find it easier to receive treatment than to buy firearms. And even as we lay the groundwork for expanding background checks, pass strong incentives for states to ensure the background-check system contains the records of the most dangerous and violent among us…

And now let me turn the microphone over to the 23-Year-Old:

"My name is Michael DeLong, and I’m an field organizer for Ceasefire Oregon, a group dedicated to reducing gun violence and advocating for common sense gun laws. In a few weeks the Oregon Legislature will be meeting for their February legislative session. Senator Ginny Burdick and Senator Floyd Prozanski will be introducing a bill requiring universal background checks for all gun sales in the state.

LC 154 would close the private sale loophole, requiring background checks for all gun sales, transfers, or leases, unless the sale, transfer, or lease is between close family members. A similar bill last session failed to get through the Oregon State Senate by a single vote.

And that’s where I come in. Currently there are 15 Oregon State Senators who favor universal background checks, and there are 15 opposed. I have been going around Oregon for the past few months organizing people, giving presentations, and reaching out to nonprofits, faith groups, and other people who might be interested. I’ve been doing this mostly in the districts of critical State Senators who might change their votes--we’ve been organizing folks and getting them to reach out to these legislators, showing them that most people want universal background checks passed and that extremists who oppose all gun laws are a small minority.

The next several months are vital. The upcoming legislative session starts on February 3rd and will only last for a month. We started gearing up for the 2014 legislative session last fall. What happens during and after this session will matter a great deal--if we get the bill passed and have funds, we can build on our success and work to get other bills passed in 2015. If we fail to get the bill passed and we have funds, we can regroup and work to elect more friendly Senators so this bill will be passed next session. But we can’t do this without money. It’s what enables Ceasefire to pay my salary, to go to Salem and advocate for better gun laws, to maintain our database of supporters, to hold events. We need your help, and I am asking for any money you can spare. Even small donations or whatever you can afford will make a difference. They will enable Ceasefire Oregon to keep working for better gun safety laws.

Whether it’s $10, $100, or $1000, please consider a donation to Ceasefire Oregon.

The donation link is here: https://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5610/c/240/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_KEY=9452. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at michael.ceasefireoregon@gmail.com


Michael DeLong