Spinning Guns

The gun lobby's spin operation in the wake of its sizable defeats last Tuesday is literally unbelievable. How, for example, can George Will say during the Sunday morning roundtable discussion on the Stephanopoulos show that the NRA was a "winner" when they lost over 82 percent of the 46 called races where their endorsed candidates ran against candidates endorsed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence?

The NRA spent over 1.7 million dollars (80 percent of their independent expenditures) on losing campaigns this year. The NRA's success rate in the U.S. Senate was only 25 percent and in the U.S. House (with some races still undecided) only 42 percent.

Arguments that some of the new winners are "pro-gun" (see my letter to the New York Times from Saturday that questions the use of this term) begs the question why the NRA spent so much money the last few weeks trying to defeat candidates like Jim Webb and Bob Casey.

The Brady Campaign endorsed candidates in 345 races across the country and, with 4 races still in doubt, has won over 96 percent of the decided contests. Supporting common sense gun violence prevention measures helped elect candidates at all levels across the country on Tuesday. I know of no candidates where this support caused them to lose.

The lesson to be learned from this election is that trying to reduce gun violence through common sense, moderate, approaches like having more gun sales covered by Brady background checks, restricting bulk sales of handguns, and strengthening law enforcement's ability to make sure that the laws on the books are followed, helps, not hurts, candidates in all parts of the country.

Americans want positive reality-based results - not theoretical spin - on all sorts of issues from what will make us safe in the world as well as at home.