(Bridgewater, NJ) — At a virtual round-table event on gun violence prevention hosted by Congressman Tom Malinowski Saturday, panelists and attendees urged the passage of common-sense gun reform, and underscored the need to get dark money out of politics.
“No other issue has such broad support or has so many people energized,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Gun safety is now an issue people run on and win on, thanks to people like Representative Malinowski who are standing up to the NRA.”
Malinowski blamed dark money campaign contributions from the corporate gun lobby as the reason common-sense gun safety legislation like universal background checks often fails to pass, despite support from an overwhelming bipartisan majority of Americans.
“Why don’t we have that stuff when, as Shannon told us, 90% of the American people support it? Well, a big reason is money. The NRA and pro-gun groups in past elections are responsible for a huge share of the money that politicians raise to get elected,” Malinowski said.
“In addition to all of the gun legislation that I’m for…we need legislation to get this dark, unaccountable, non-transparent money out of our politics.”
Malinowski’s opponent, Senator Tom Kean Jr., has taken over $400,000 from groups that oppose gun violence prevention measures. In return, he’s earned a 100% rating from the NRA by blocking stronger background checks, even after the Sandy Hook shooting, and voting against limiting the size of high-capacity magazines.
“I’m running on this, and there’s a real contrast between me and the guy I’m running against. He has a scarlet letter A –not an F– from the NRA because he’s voted against the gun laws that we have in New Jersey,” said Malinowski.
Thompson-Jenkins, founder of Founder of the Tré Devon Lane Foundation, who lost her son to gun violence, told her story, and called on attendees to take action to prevent more tragedy.
“We must continue to hold our elected officials accountable for stricter gun laws, common sense laws to avoid having another mother endure the pain of losing a child due to senseless gun violence like I have,” Thompson-Jenkins said. “Change spares lives.”
The full roundtable can be watched here.