Brady Post-Election Report: Supporters of Sensible Gun Laws Won, Gun Lobby Lost, Gun Issue Lost Its "Wedge"

For Immediate Release

Brady Post-Election Report: Supporters of Sensible Gun Laws Won, Gun Lobby Lost, Gun Issue Lost Its "Wedge"

WASHINGTON - Across the country, from the Presidential race to U.S. Senate, U.S.
House and state races, voters elected candidates supporting sensible
gun laws, while gun lobby messages using outdated scare tactics about
government seizure of privately-owned guns fell flat, and millions
spent by the National Rifle Association went to waste.

How the gun issue played in this election - and worked to the benefit
of the majority of Americans that want to make it harder for dangerous
people to get dangerous weapons - is reviewed in a special
post-election report being released today by the Brady Campaign to
Prevent Gun Violence.  

Entitled "Guns & The 2008 Elections:  Common Sense Gun Laws Won,
The NRA Lost, & What it Means," the 30-page analysis focuses on
state-by-state election results in races with Brady and NRA-backed
candidates and systematically reviews what happened in states with high
gun ownership, and in states where the NRA ran television
advertisements.  It tracks the NRA's expenditures and tactics from the
Presidential primaries through the general election, and examines the
Obama campaign's messages and comments on the gun issue, including the
infamous "bitter-gate" controversy.

"We know of no political candidate at any level, in any race, who lost
because they supported sensible gun laws," said Paul Helmke, President
of the Brady Campaign.  "The voters want to hear pragmatic proposals to
reduce gun violence and they know that sensible gun laws won't hurt
legitimate gun owners."

The report: http://www.bradycenter.org/xshare/pdf/reports/guns-2008election.pdf

The fact that President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-Elect Joe
Biden, as well as other supporters of sensible gun laws in U.S. Senate,
U.S. House and state races, won convincingly - including in states with
heavy rates of gun ownership - shows that support for common sense gun
laws is a winning message and not a dangerous political "wedge issue"
to be avoided by cautious politicians, the report argues.  Some of
those results:

  • More than 90 percent of Brady Campaign endorsed candidates nationwide won their elections.
  • In U.S. Senate races, Brady endorsed candidates won 10 out of 10 races.
  • In U.S. House races, Brady endorsed candidates won more than 90 percent of their races.

The report shows that the NRA was one of the biggest losers in the 2008 elections: 

  • The NRA spent over thirty-one times more money against Obama than it spent in its negative efforts in 2000 against Al Gore.
  • In head-to-head races between candidates endorsed or "A"
    rated by the NRA and candidates endorsed by the Brady Campaign, Brady
    candidates won more than 80 percent (including eight of eight U.S.
    Senate races).
  • The NRA spent over 90 percent of its independent
    expenditures in Senate races on losing candidates (for elections called
    as of this morning).

"After yet another election in which voters rejected numerous
candidates in high-profile races who had prominent NRA support and NRA
money, it's time for politicians and pundits to reject the myth that
talking about reasonable restrictions on guns is dangerously
controversial," Helmke said.  "This report makes the case that
supporting reasonable limitations on gun ownership is smart politics."

 

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As the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence, the Brady Campaign, with its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, works to enact and enforce sensible gun laws, regulations and public policies. The Brady Campaign is devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.

For continuing insight and comment on the gun issue, read Paul Helmke's blog at www.bradycampaign.org/blog/. Visit the Brady Campaign website at www.bradycampaign.org.

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