Independence Day mass shooting: Mapping the Republicans blocking gun safety reform

12 mins read

Independence Day mass shooting: Mapping the Republicans blocking gun safety reform

Six dead, dozens injured in mass shooting at July Fourth parade outside Chicago.

The shooting comes weeks after a racist mass shootings at a Buffalo grocery store where 10 people died. President Biden invoked the sites of some of those other massacres, including El PasoPittsburgh and Charleston, S.C. Ten days after the massacre in Buffalo, A gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at a Texas elementary school.

GOP blocks common sense gun safety measures

193 Republican Congressmen and 34 Republican Senators opposed the Democratic proposed gun-control legislation recently. The Safer Communities Act leaves out (NYT):

  • Universal background checks
  • Ban those under 21 years old from buying semi-automatic weapons
  • Allow guns to be taken from anyone deemed to be dangerous
  • Prohibit violent offenders and domestic abusers from buying guns
  • Ban on the sale of large-capacity magazines

Which Republicans oppose gun safety? How many of their voters have died near their districts ? How many people have died and where in the 15 days since the Supreme Court struck down the law? Which dark money groups are pushing the GOP to block gun safety measures? Follow the money with this map.

Enough GOP Thoughts & Prayers

Share this map freely with this link or as a GIF

Advocacy storytelling with maps

  • This map was designed in a day (on July 4th) with ArcGIS Online using shooting data from Gun Violence Archives
  • This was overlaid with how Congressional reps voted on the Gun Safety Bill from the Congressional Records
  • Details on the Republicans voting against the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was added from Newsweek/MSN
  • Each of these data layers can be selectively turned ON or OFF
  • Details on the Congressional vote appear as you zoom into the map.
  • Each red dot represents a shooting that has occurred since the Supreme Court overturned the NY law (Jun 24-Jul 4)
  • The size of the red dot is proportional to the number of people who died in the incident
  • A Splash Screen and Info Box explain how to register to vote, check your Voter ID and volunteer to protect democracy

Who voted against gun safety?

Democrats proposed “S. 2938: Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” — a package of seven gun violence-related measures that includes raising the age for legal purchase of semiautomatic rifles and shotguns to 21, closing the “bump stock” loophole, and other measures aimed at preventing the illegal trafficking of guns and the “Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act,” a federal “red flag” bill that would allow family members and law enforcement officials to temporarily block firearm access to those who a court determines pose a danger to themselves or others. – Yahoo

Credit: GovTrack

House GOP leadership urged a “no” vote on all eight bills, referring to the seven-bill package… they noted the opposition of the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America… GOP leaders also noted the opposition of Heritage Action for America, an advocacy group tied to the conservative Heritage Foundation. “Due to the importance of this issue, votes on this legislation will be considered in future candidate ratings and endorsements by the NRA Political Victory Fund,” declares one of the memos. – Yahoo

34 Republican Senators voted against the Gun Safety bill

Heritage Action For America: Voter suppression and gun safety opposition

Heritage Action for America is the political advocacy arm of the Heritage Foundation. It is a 501(c)(4) political non-profit founded in 2010, that played a big role in the 2013 government shutdown, which it advocated as part of a campaign against the ACA.” – SourceWatch

“Dark Money Group Brags About Writing GOP Voter Suppression Bills Across the Country. “We did it quickly and we did it quietly,” said the executive director of Heritage Action. In a private meeting with big-money donors, the head of a top conservative group boasted that her outfit had crafted the new voter suppression law in Georgia and was doing the same with similar bills for Republican state legislators across the country. “In some cases, we actually draft them for them,” she said, “or we have a sentinel on our behalf give them the model legislation so it has that grassroots, from-the-bottom-up type of vibe.”

The Georgia law had “eight key provisions that Heritage recommended,” Jessica Anderson, the executive director of Heritage Action for America, a sister organization of the Heritage Foundation, told the foundation’s donors at an April 22 gathering in a recording obtained by the watchdog group Documented including policies severely restricting mail ballot drop boxes, preventing election officials from sending absentee ballot request forms to voters, making it easier for partisan workers to monitor the polls, preventing the collection of mail ballots, and restricting the ability of counties to accept donations from nonprofit groups seeking to aid in election administration.” – Mother Jones

Brian KempGeorgia

“Days before the Georgia legislature would pass its sweeping bill rolling back access to the ballot, Anderson said she met with Gov. Brian Kemp and urged him to quickly sign the bill when it reached his desk. “I had one message for him,” said Anderson, a former Trump administration official in the Office of Management and Budget. “Do not wait to sign that bill. If you wait even an hour, you will look weak. This bill needs to be signed immediately.” Kemp followed Anderson’s advice, signing the bill right after its passage. Heritage called it a “historic voting security bill.” – Mother Jones

Koch dark money in action

Heritage Action has received funding from the Koch brothers, including a half million dollar donation in 2013, according to CEO Michael Needham. The Heritage Foundation received $650,000 from the Claude R. Lambe Foundation, which was one of the Koch Family Foundations before it closed in 2013. The Lambe Foundation contributed at least $4.8 million to the Heritage Foundation between 1998 and 2012. The Heritage Foundation has also received funding from Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund, including $53,300 in 2010 and $69,850 in 2012. The Koch brothers have donated millions of dollars to Donors Trust through the Knowledge and Progress Fund, and possibly other vehicles.” – SourceWatch

GOP-Packed Supreme Court Overturns NY’s Concealed Carry Law

The GOP-packed Supreme Court struck down a New York state law to make it easier to carry a concealed weapon.

“Justice Stephen Breyer focused on the toll taken by gun violence in his dissent. “Since the start of this year alone (2022), there have already been 277 reported mass shootings—an average of more than one per day,“ Breyer wrote. The decision is expected to ultimately allow more people to legally carry guns on the streets of the nation’s largest cities — including New York, Los Angeles and Boston — and elsewhere. About a quarter of the U.S. population lives in states expected to be affected by the ruling, the high court’s first major gun decision in more than a decade.

“Shocking, absolutely shocking that they have taken away our right to have reasonable restrictions,” said NY Gov. Kathy Hochul. “We can have restrictions on speech. You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater, but somehow there is not restrictions allowed on the Second Amendment?” – NBC NY

Gun Violence Archive

The Gun Violence Archive is an online archive of gun violence incidents collected from over 7,500  law enforcement, media, government and commercial sources daily in an effort to provide near-real time data about the results of gun violence. GVA is an independent data collection and research group with no affiliation with any advocacy organization.

GVA collects comprehensive information about gun-related violence and shares it from its websiteFacebook page and on Twitter @gundeaths. It aims to assist those engaged in discussions and activities concerning gun violence, including analysis of proposed regulations or legislation relating to gun safety usage. GVA is not an advocacy group but documents incidents of gun violence to provide independent, verified data to those who need to use it in their research, advocacy or writing.

We’ve come to our last parade

“Richard Isenberg, 77, was sitting with his family in a stand along Central Avenue at Highland Park near Chicago on Independence Day “where we always sit.” When gunfire erupted, the family ran to a nearby shopping center and hunkered down with others. People were running in all directions, he said. “It’s something you watch on television, but you don’t think you’ll see it in your own life,” Isenberg said. “Fourth of July has always been my favorite holiday of the year. I don’t think that’ll be the way anymore. We’ve come to our last parade.” – WaPo

TakeAway: Hold Republicans accountable for blocking gun safety reform. Vote!



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