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New Effort to Split Gun Vote: ‘Gun Owners for Safety’ Just in Time for Election

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Article first appeared on Ammoland.com

U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Almost like clockwork, another ostensibly pro-gun organization has appeared on the landscape just in time for a national election in which the gun vote will be critical, and this one was launched by the Giffords gun control organization, and according to The Hill, “It seeks to offer gun owners an alternative to the NRA, which remains stringently opposed to most anti-gun violence proposals.”

This new outfit is called Gun Owners for Safety (GOS), launched Friday. By no small coincidence, it already reportedly has chapters in key swing states, including Texas, Colorado and Minnesota, and claims to be building chapters in Michigan, Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. They also “plan on building out chapters in Nevada, Vermont, Oregon, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.”

It is significant that Oregon is mentioned since there is another group in that state, Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership. According to their website, “We envision an America where all are safe from gun violence, and where responsible gun owners take the lead to promote safe gun ownership and sensible laws and regulations.” Oregon is not considered a swing state, either, but its gun owners are an active bunch that have been fighting extremist gun control efforts for several years.

The Pacific Northwest has become a haven for gun prohibition politics with the billionaire-backed Alliance for Gun Responsibility based in Seattle.

The arrival of COS on the national scene only two weeks ahead of the 2020 presidential and congressional elections—in which gun owners hoping to protect their rights—is eerily reminiscent of the now-defunct American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA), founded in 2005. Their effort was also designed to provide “an alternative” to the NRA, and their political support was almost universally for Democrats.

Translation: Split the gun vote between Second Amendment activists and hunters who didn’t care for the NRA’s aggressive brand of gun rights activism. That group folded after about five years.

According to their website, GOS insists, “We can prevent gun violence while also supporting the Second Amendment. Gun Owners for Safety unites hunters, sport shooters, and collectors who want commonsense gun laws.”

It’s what some in the gun rights movement call “camo speak,” but it is recognizable by using words from the gun control lexicon, such as “commonsense gun laws” and “gun violence.”

As their message stresses, “We also have a responsibility to help keep our families and communities safe. Right now, we’re facing a real crisis in America: too many are losing their lives or loved ones to gun violence. But the vast majority of gun owners agree that there are responsible measures we can take to save lives.”

The group has emerged just as mail-in ballots are appearing, and citizens in states where in-person voting is occurring are now lining up, sometimes for hours, to cast their votes.

According to The Hill story, “Gun Owners for Safety plans to take advantage of the weakened state of the NRA, which has faced accusations of corrupt leadership and illegal spending.”

The question is whether GOS will be able to accomplish its mission by using this sales pitch:

“For too long, gun laws in our country have made it too easy to get a gun without a rigorous background check. Now more than ever, gun owners must work together to find smart solutions that will save lives and support the Second Amendment. It’s time for sensible background checks and responsible gun laws. We can help save lives and protect our Second Amendment rights for generations to come.”

But there may be a fly in their ointment, as the saying goes, and it already has a foothold.

It’s the Second Amendment Foundation’s “2A First Responders” project, which has been gaining considerable momentum since its launch some weeks ago. SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb says advertising will continue at least for a couple more weeks.

This effort has been receiving thousands of responses. Activists are invited to text “PROTECT 2A” to 474747, he said. The message on SAF’s website is blunt:

“Defending our Second Amendment rights depends on engaged activists like YOU, who are willing to dedicate their time and energy.  The FREE 2A First Responder program seeks something more valuable than your money–it seeks your time. 

“This volunteer program is geared toward individuals who wish to ACTIVELY ENGAGE in the defense of their rights, who are looking to INCREASE THEIR ACTIVISM further, and who can become FORCE MULTIPLIERS by recruiting additional volunteers and building their own local networks of 2A First Responders in their communities. 

“If this sounds like the program for you, please click the button below and complete our brief Freedom Form to enroll. The program and everything associated with it are ABSOLUTELY FREE!”

Whether Giffords’ new group will have a significant impact on the Nov. 3 election remains to be seen, but it is off to a heady start. With chapters in the critical swing states, and many gun owners grumbling about the NRA’s current problems, activists are reminding one another, and anyone else who will listen, that every vote will count.

People who are leaving on fall hunting trips are being urged to get absentee ballots and fill them out before heading to camp.

Democrats Joe Biden and Kalama Harris have made their gun control agenda a matter of public record, and there have been strong hints they may try to pack the Supreme Court if they win next month, in order to prevent the advancement of Second Amendment cases.

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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