The day after yet another campus shooting shocked California and the country, America turned orange for National Gun Violence Awareness Day on Thursday.
From the Empire State Building to the Golden Gate Bridge – and at hundreds of town squares and corporate offices in between – people of all political stripes raised a hand to say they don’t accept gun violence as America’s new normal.
And millions of voters are supporting Hillary Clinton with gun safety top of mind. The organizations we lead, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, are proud to endorse Clinton for president.
Elections are always about the future. This election is particularly historic because, for the first time, the way forward on gun safety couldn’t be clearer.
Do we want to live in a country with a gun murder rate that’s more than 25 times that of other developed countries? Or do we want to adopt common-sense measures that can save lives?
That’s why we ask every candidate, for every office: Are they for background checks on all gun sales, or against them? Should we keep guns out of dangerous hands, or accept lockdown drills as part of going to school?
Should gun manufacturers receive unprecedented immunity from civil liability, or be treated like every other industry? Should we conduct research and shed sunlight on gun violence, or suppress it?
Our litmus test for candidates is that simple. Do they side with the public, or with the gun lobby, whose vision is at odds with creating a safer country?
Clinton is passing this test with flying colors. She’s listening to the people who want to make America safe again. She’s pushing back against the National Rifle Association’s extreme “guns for everyone, everywhere” agenda. And a new generation of gun-sense voters has a champion.
Clinton recognizes that the gun lobby would take the country in the wrong direction. “It’s time the entire country stood up against the NRA,” she said during her party’s first debate last October. She took a stand, and she’s helping take gun safety from a political “third rail” to a winning issue.
At debates and town halls, Clinton has called out the gun lobby and its allies for resisting background checks on all gun sales, for granting special protection to gun makers and for blocking basic public health research into gun violence. On the campaign trail, she has embraced gun violence survivors, parents and volunteers.
This election year, we’ve seen gun safety move to center stage. Again Thursday, we heard a rising chorus of Americans who believe we can do more to save lives.
We’re two of those Americans, and with a grass-roots movement already 3.5 million strong, we’ll be voting for Clinton in November.
John Feinblatt is president of Everytown for Gun Safety. Shannon Watts is founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Both can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.