Yesterday, 71 of Florida state representatives continued to do the NRA’s bidding and prevented legislation banning assault weapons from even coming up for a debate on the state’s House floor. With student survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the balcony, the motion to proceed to debate on the bill failed, in a 71 to 36 vote. If assault weapons weren’t considered worthy of debate, then what could require the attention of the state representatives? Porn. Only hours after refusing to open debate on an assault weapons ban, the House passed a resolution declaring porn a “public health risk.”
The reality is that porn doesn’t kill 96 Americans every single day—but guns do. By refusing to even consider a ban on dangerous weapons made for the military, the Florida House of Representatives put more Floridians at risk, including students. Preventing future gun violence requires action, not thoughts and prayers. Lawmakers need to get their priorities straight. Students in Florida—and people across the country—are demanding it. In fact, new polling shows that a record-high 97 percent of voters support universal background checks and 67 percent support a ban on the sale of assault weapons.
ACTION OF THE DAY
No Rest During Recess. This week, Congress will be in recess—but that doesn’t mean we’ll be taking the week off. Here’s some actions you can take starting today!
Funding the NRA. Following the massacre in Parkland, much attention has been given to the members of Congress accepting contributions from the National Rifle Association (NRA). While these ties must be further explored and exposed, the NRA isn’t only fueled by congressional support—it’s also being supported by some of the most popular companies in the country. Think Progress talked to 22 companies—including FedEx, Hertz, and Norton—that “the NRA says offer incentives to NRA members.” And, for right now, it appears that the companies plan to continue those relationships with the NRA—even after the murder of 17 high school students in Florida.
Racial Wealth Gap. A new report from the Center for American Progress shows how structural racism perpetuates a massive black-white wealth gap. Centuries of structural obstacles to wealth building have caused white families to own ten times more wealth than African American families! African Americans are less likely to be homeowners, to own their own business, and to hold a job that offers retirement benefits than whites. Even college-educated black households have less wealth than non-college white households.
UNDER THE RADAR
A New Nationalism in Turkey. Last week, the Center for American Progress released two reports and two commentaries summarizing the findings of nationwide polling and focus groups conducted in Turkey. The first report outlines the top-line polling results and how the data show Turkey’s changing national self-perception after a decade of populist, conservative leadership. The second report dives into the details of how these trends—including deep anti-American sentiment—are shaping Turkey’s politics and its relations with the West, with broad implications for NATO. Finally, two expert commentaries examine how this new nationalism fits in the broader historical context, and how political alignment increasingly shapes people’s core identities in Turkey.
Voting in Arizona. As early as this week, the Arizona Senate will be voting on a bill that could drastically re-shape how the state addresses redistricting. The legislation, which passed out of committee last week on a party-line vote, could allow “state legislators the authority to potentially sketch their own district boundaries, as well as those of Arizona’s members of Congress.” In addition, it would gut the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, “a bipartisan panel that was created to take that power away from the legislature.” This power grab could have serious consequences for future elections and who’s in power.