I-1639. This initiative is titled “Safe Schools, Safe Communities,” reflecting the groundswell of public frustration over elected officials choosing to protect guns rather than people. The initiative strengthens background checks, storage requirements and waiting periods, as well as raising to 21 the age when you can buy a semi-automatic weapon.
The title also pays homage to the spirited campaign by the millions of American students fighting to live in a nation free from gun violence.
The National Association of Students Against Gun Violence (NASAGV) describes their intention to —
[counterbalance] the force of the NRA so that legislation reflects the desires of those it represents, as well as working with our chapters nationwide to create safer and more sustainable communities. This task requires an entire generation of intelligent, focused voters utilizing their collective capabilities. This task requires you.
The initiative is taking on an issue that is routinely distorted by the powerful gun lobby—it had to survive three malign lawsuits even to get on the ballot.
Now that it’s on the ballot, you’ll have to work carefully to find out how the provisions of the initiative would actually work. That’s because the gun lobby has set up a lot of on-line sites that masquerade at first glance as strictly informative but in reality embed the scare tactics regularly used by the gun lobby: I1639 robs 18-20 year-olds of their constitutional rights (to buy an assault weapon); it hurts poor people (a training class plus a $25 fee could add $85 to the cost of a weapon); it’s hypocritical (drunk drivers cause more deaths); it’s backed by a billionaire (as if that deterred anyone in political life these days) and so on. There’s an NRA site – iniative1639; another called i1639; also saveoursecurity, etc.
A neighbor said she was looking for details on how the initiative would work, and at least during the middle of September, needed a patient hand on the keys to find a site that addressed the basic provision of the initiative. The principal site that describes exactly how the initiative would work is www.gunresponsibility.org.
At this point, we should give the last word to NASAGV students who find themselves too often on the front lines in our culture of violence:
Members of our organization devote every moment of their involvement to making our vision a reality. We’re here to show the rest of the nation we’re capable of organizing, mobilizing, and committing to ending gun violence for good. We’re not getting out of the government’s hair anytime soon; rather, in mere decades we will BE the government. We’re here to stay, and we’re fighting till we achieve all that is necessary for the reinstatement of a just democracy in this country. If we can’t get reform, we’re starting a revolution.