National Gun Victims Action Council Launches “Economic Lever” Campaign To Strengthen Nation’s Gun Laws
April 17, 2014
Chicago, IL – The National Gun Victims Action Council announced today that the group is launching a major effort to reform America’s weak gun laws. This initiative will add a missing element to the current debate: economic pressure via gaining the signatures and support of millions of Americans seeking sane gun laws for a “Tell & Compel” Pledge that will leverage economic boycotts to make politicians do the right thing.
In December 2012, a number of states reacted to the horror of the Newtown Massacre by strengthening regulation of firearms, yet a national bill supported by President Obama was blocked in Congress, and some states have continued to weaken their already toothless laws.
According to NGVAC President and CEO Elliot Fineman, however, there is a solution to the deadly stasis of continual gun violence pushed by the National Rifle Association and its legislative lackeys. As Fineman puts it, “we have a winning hand. A strategy that uses the economic lever of millions of Americans personally affected by senseless tragedy, as well as millions of their fellow countrymen who in poll after poll overwhelmingly want an end to the senseless slaughter of their fellow citizens. We’ll use our buying power to tell and compel corporations to respect the overwhelming will of the people and safety of our families.”
Fineman also emphasizes that the key to solving this problem is to tell legislators and those who financially support the gun industry, that “we’re done asking.” This effort will include NGVAC’s embarking on a multi-faceted national campaign—inluding the launch of a new video and bi-weekly radio show hosted by Fineman—to expose and boycott businesses that allow dangerous firearms to be carried on their premises, while encouraging more enlightened ones to hang signs making it clear guns are not welcomed on their property.
Most recently, an effort which NGVAC began on Valentine’s Day 2012, a boycott of Starbucks Coffee due to their casual acceptance of the concealed and open carry of guns in their stores, was joined by likeminded organizations and led to victory with a change in Starbucks’ policy late last year. NGVAC now promises to bring this economic pain to other companies that do not comply.
As Fineman states, “this is not a new strategy. In fact, every successful mass social movement in history has had an economic component. To make this point clear, NGVAC is releasing an online video highlighting movements for social justice lead by Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to remind Americans of the important role played by boycotts in past fights for liberty (You can view the video here).
NGVAC has also recently launched a new radio show hosted by Fineman, titled ‘It’s The Guns, Stupid,” which airs on Washington D.C.’s “We Act Radio,” AM 1480, reaching the Halls of Congress and other policymakers throughout the city. It’s also livestreamed and and can be viewed live on the Youtube channel (Radio show page here). On the show, Fineman will speak with those touched by gun violence, as well as debate “pro gunners” who wish to add no further regulations to our system—and roll back some of the ones we already have. He will also give his unique take on the state of our gun laws and culture.
This is a bittersweet moment for Fineman, who lost his son in a 2006 shooting committed by a mentally incapacitated man, one who never should have had access to a firearm. His son, Michael, was peacefully eating dinner with his wife at a restaurant in San Diego when he was brutally attacked. Fineman’s determined that no other father endure this senseless suffering and loss because of our lack of sane gun laws.
National Gun Victims Action Council (Gun Victims Action) is a non-profit network of gun victims, survivors, the faith community and ordinary people leveraging their economic power to change America’s gun laws. You can find out more about the group by going to www.gunvictimsaction.org