Thursday, August 29, 2013

Gerlach Urged to Help Prevent Gun Violence

Photo provided by OFA
Activists outside U.S. Rep Jim Gerlach's Trappe office last week, urging him to support legislation to end gun violence.

Activists marched in front of U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach's Trappe office last week in an attempt to send a message to Washington, D.C. about gun violence.

"Supporters of gun violence prevention have not forgotten about Sandy Hook or Aurora, Tucson or Virginia Tech, and they won't let leaders in Washington forget that they can act to make our
Jim Gerlach
communities safer," read a release issued by Organizing for Action, which describes itself as a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to advancing the policies that the American people voted for in 2012.

"Congress has the opportunity to pass legislation that the overwhelming majority of Americans support to make our neighborhoods safer by keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people. If that's not enough--if the will of the American people and the voices of the families affected by all these tragedies aren't enough--what will it take?" the release noted.

The group said its events in Pennsylvania were inspired by the "Hands Across America" campaign of 1986 – in which millions of Americans joined hands in a display of social justice. 

At a predetermined moment on Wednesday, all OFA-PA volunteers joined hands to symbolize solidarity in the effort to advance gun violence prevention policies.

"Rep. Jim Gerlach can be a part of the solution by co-sponsoring H.R. 1565 (the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2013) and making sure this bipartisan gun violence prevention bill moves forward in Congress," the release noted.

Asked for comment on the action, Gerlach's office provided the following statement from the congressman:

“Since the 113th Congress convened in January, more than 50 firearms-related bills have been introduced in the House and are pending before the House Committee on the Judiciary. While I am not a Member of that Committee, I look forward to seeing the end product of the Committee’s work with regard to firearms legislation, including sensible solutions to effectively stop firearms from getting into the hands of criminals and those who lack the mental capacity to safely and responsibly own and use firearms without unreasonably restricting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”

As a grassroots funded social advocacy group, OFA is committed to tipping the scales of power back to the American people instead of special interests in Washington, according to the release. 

OFA is working to advance policies like job creation, strengthening the middle class, gun violence prevention, comprehensive immigration reform and measures combating climate change that a majority of the American people support. 

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