Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Friday, May 24, 2013

UPDATE: Gun control group to spend $350,000 against Pryor

Posted By on Fri, May 24, 2013 at 12:54 PM

BLOOMBERG BENEFICIARY: Tom Cotton.
  • BLOOMBERG BENEFICIARY: Tom Cotton.

BLOOMBERG BENEFICIARY: Tom Cotton.
  • BLOOMBERG BENEFICIARY: Tom Cotton.
Politico reports that the gun control group backed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is following through with plans to buy TV time — $350,000 worth — criticizing U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor for helping defeat some modest gun measures recently, particularly universal background checks.

The irony, of course, is that they'll be contributing to damage of Pryor that will accrue to the benefit of the Club for Growth's Tom Cotton, a nominal 4th District representative who plans to take the Club for Greed's money to go after Pryor. Cotton is rarely depicted in his material without a gun in his hand. He's a gun absolutist. In his view, there is NO law that should be passed relative to gun regulation.

Pryor has been disappointing on the issue, no doubt. But ...

UPDATE: The ad is hard-hitting. See it above. It brings up the shooting death of former State Democratic Party Chair Bill Gwatney in as senseless an act of gun violence as I can imagine.

The ad features Angela Bradford Barnes, chief financial officer of the Arkansas Democratic Party at the time.

When my dear, innocent friend was shot to death, I didn’t blame guns. I blamed a system that makes it so terribly easy for criminals or the dangerous mentally ill to buy guns. That’s why I was so disappointed when Mark Pryor voted against comprehensive background checks. On that vote, he let us down.

Gun violence has personally affected my life in a tremendous way. I have spent years working for Arkansas’ Democrats and was at work with Bill Gwatney the day he was senselessly taken from us,” said Bradford-Barnes in a press release. “The pain of that experience will always be a part of me. Like 84 percent of Arkansans I support universal background checks. Thus, I was heartbroken to see that Senator Pryor opposed the bi-partisan bill because it will save lives. This bill may not be perfect, and it cannot undue my tragic loss, but if it stops even one person from causing this pain to another family, it’s worth it. I hope that if Senator Pryor is given another chance to lead on this issue he thinks first about Arkansas voters like me.

Pryor responded sharply:

“New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg didn’t know Bill Gwatney. I knew Bill Gwatney. He was my friend and he was killed by someone with severe mental health issues. The Mayor’s bill would have done nothing to prevent his death because it fails to adequately address the real issue and common thread in all of these shootings — mental health.

“That’s why I voted for separate legislation that strengthens funding for mental health programs; requires states, courts, and agencies to report mental health records to the background check system; increases penalties for straw purchases; reauthorizes and funds the COPS program to improve safety in schools; holds the Department of Justice accountable by forcing them to prosecute cases where individuals tried to purchase firearms illegally; and conducts a study on violence in the media. This legislation would have done all of this while protecting people’s 2nd amendment rights.

“Mayor Bloomberg’s attack ad politicizes the death of my friend by misleading people into thinking that his bill would have prevented Bill Gwatney’s tragic death. The fact is it wouldn’t have, which makes Mayor Bloomberg’s ad even more disgusting.”

The Democratic Party followed with this from Candace Martin:

“Bill Gwatney was a friend and inspiration to all Democrats. Not a day goes by that we don’t think about his tragic death and miss him. We don’t believe it is right for any organization to politicize this tragedy.”

I'm just about fed up with the "politicizing tragedy" cliche used to avoid talking about tough issues. Guns are an issue precisely because of tragedies. Pryor himself brought up storm aid votes the other day — a clear and deserved jab at Rep. Tom Cotton — in advocating help for Oklahoma. That wasn't politicizing tragedy, either, though Republican shills tried to call it that to stop references to Cotton. Actions have consequences, past and future. A death need not be provably preventable by background checks to mention it as another senseless gun death that underscored the ready availability of instruments of death without much meaningful impediment.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Speaking of...

Comments (42)

Showing 1-42 of 42

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-42 of 42

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • School groups fight back against the billionaires

    A new coalition, the Arkansas Opportunity to Learn Campaign, held a news conference today at the Capitol to forthrightly defend Arkansas education against the agenda pushed yesterday by a group led by some of the wealthiest people in Arkansas, including the Walmart, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Murphy Oil, Dillard Department Stores, Koch Industries and Stephens fortunes.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • UPDATE: Rapert abortion bill tabled, political tension surfaces

    House Public Health Committee Chairman John Burris today moved for tabling of Sen. Jason Rapert's bill to prohibit abortions when a fetal heart beat is detected.
    • Feb 5, 2013
  • Why is Tim Griffin pushing Keystone Pipeline so hard? Things go better with Kochs

    U.S. Rep. Tiny Tim Griffin of Traskwood built his 2012 re-election campaign around advocacy of construction of the Keystone Pipeline, a potential environmental disaster that's about moving Canadian energy to Gulf Coast refineries for shipment of finished products overseas.
    • Feb 15, 2013

Most Shared

  • Koch mailer: We know who you are, we know if you vote

    Still more complaints rolling in — including from Republicans — about the mail campaign of the Koch-brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity to scare people into voting.
  • Pat Hays' NRA membership riles Republicans

    Democratic 2nd District Congress candidate Pat Hays is causing conniption fits among Republicans because a new TV ad shows him with his guns and mentions his long-time membership in the National Rifle Association.
  • Talk is cheap; state government isn't: Preparing for the new GOP order

    The state looks at rising prison and school costs in a world where the theme of Republican political campaigns is reducing government and cutting taxes. Does anybody in that party know arithmetic?
  • Live Review: Nahko and Medicine for the People at Rev Room

    Thursday night, Portland, Oregon’s Nahko and Medicine for the People brought their “musical medicine” to Little Rock’s Revolution Music Room, a fitting venue for the socially-conscious music collective. Their uplifting medley of folk, urban and world music, as well as hypnotizing videos featuring their music have enchanted activist-minded music fans across the world in the relatively short time they have been creating music together.
  • What about the Arkansas ballot issues?

    To give the legislature more power, the people less, a wetter state, longer term limits and a bump in the minimum wage.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2014 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation