Roll Call’s Niels Lesniewski:
“Instead of making lesson plans, I’m making active-shooter plans.”
That’s what a woman identified as a Colorado schoolteacher named Jody says in a new issue ad campaign starting this weekend by the gun control advocacy group named for former Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The group’s aim is to push Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner to back a House-passed gun purchase background check bill…
Gardner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are the initial focus of what Giffords’ group says is going to approach a $750,000 advertising buy in support of gun safety legislation. Gardner is among the most vulnerable Republican Senate incumbents on the ballot in 2020, and McConnell also faces a battle for reelection.
In the past week since two deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, the resurgent debate over gun safety legislation–most of which would consist of national editions of laws that are already on the books in Colorado with broad public support–Sen. Cory Gardner’s severe weakness on the issue has been front and center. Gardner, who received almost $4 million from the National Rifle Association during his career, was already on record opposing “red flag” laws to intervene in cases of mentally ill people in crisis with guns that President Donald Trump and a host of Republican lawmakers have voiced support for since last week’s shootings. And when confronted in Colorado this week about the issue, Gardner reiterated his opposition to “gun control” and his overriding concern of protecting constitutional rights versus public safety.
With Gardner now out of a limb even within much of his own party on guns, representing a state that has become a model for responding to and preventing the kinds of mass shooting tragedies that are dominating the headlines, politically this ad from Giffords PAC is extremely well-targeted and damaging. At this rate, Gardner is going to need every penny of those NRA millions to hold off the accountability 2020 has backlogged for him.