RELEASE: March for Our Lives’ Iowa Director Criticizes Trump Administration’s Record on Gun Violence Prevention, Says Trump Is ‘Beholden to the NRA’

Washington, D.C. — The Center for American Progress Action Fund is releasing a new video in a social media campaign to educate Americans on the failure of the Trump administration to address the epidemic of gun violence.

The campaign will tell the stories of Americans like Kevin Drahos, a 19-year-old gun violence prevention activist and youth advocate from Iowa City, Iowa, who, along with several of his friends, founded March for Our Lives Iowa. In the video, Drahos says that their aim is to effect change by educating the public on the fears that his generation faces on a daily basis. 

“Me and my generation are just kind of prepared for something to happen someday,” Drahos says. “In the classroom, we’re looking at things like, ‘Where are the windows? I don’t want my back to a window. I don’t want to sit in the back of the class where there’s no doors.’”

Last year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill that would implement a universal background check system for firearm sales. According to a national poll, 93 percent of American voters support the legislation, including 89 percent of Republicans and 87 percent of all legal gun owners. Despite overwhelming support for the House bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to bring the bill forward for a vote, and the White House issued a statement indicating that Trump would veto the bill even if it were to pass the Senate. 

Initially, President Trump appeared to endorse background checks, calling them “commonsense measures that protect the rights of law-abiding Americans.” The president even went so far as to suggest that members of his own political party opposed background check legislation for political reasons, saying, “People are afraid to do background checks because you’re afraid of somebody. … I don’t care who is endorsing you. … I’m into getting something done that’s good.” Despite this rhetoric, President Trump predictably abandoned his support for the policy shortly after meeting with National Rifle Association (NRA) lobbyists, which Drahos says is an ongoing frustration for proponents of the bill. 

“It’s frustrating to see the president backtrack so many times on this issue, indicating that he might do the smallest thing to implement universal background checks, and then again, he’s beholden to the NRA,” Drahos says. “Over 90 percent of the Americans from both sides of the aisle agree that universal background checks are a good thing, and they want that implemented.”

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Freedom Alexander Murphy at fmurphy.af@americanprogressaction.org or 202-796-9712.