Mark Kelly, the former astronaut and husband to former Rep. Gabby Giffords, has just completed the ALS ice bucket challenge. The video was posted Thursday on the website for their group, Americans For Responsible Solutions, which is dedicated to restricting gun rights.
The challenge involves dumping a bucket of ice water over your head. After doing so, it is protocol to nominate three friends to dump ice water over their heads. Kelly took the challenge because he was nominated by Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Mark Kelly has nominated his brother Scott, who is also an astronaut, Navy SEAL Jimmy Hatch, and NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. Kelly says, “…Wayne LaPierre, who we hope one day we can agree upon more than just supporting ALS and Lou Gehrig disease research.”
According to the rules of the challenge, LaPierre has 24 hours to complete the challenge or donate to ALS.
While this may seem like a nice gesture to the NRA CEO, Mark Kelly’s fundraising emails to his supporters tell a different story on what Americans For Responsible Solutions represents.
Americans for Responsible Solutions gins up hatred for the National Rifle Association on a regular basis as a mechanism to raise funds for themselves.
In a June 26, 2014, fundraising email to supporters, Hayley Zachary of Americans for Responsible Solutions wrote: “It might shock you to learn that the NRA was formed shortly after the Civil War as an organization dedicated to teaching marksmanship and firearm safety. But today, it has evolved into an entity barely recognizable from those roots – one that preys on fear and misinformation to scare elected officials into opposing laws their constituents support.”
Zachary fails to take into consideration the constituents are the people that put the lawmakers into office and reflect the majority of people for whom they serve — or they are voted out.
The most disturbing aspect of Zachary’s email is wanting the NRA to “pay a price.”
She writes, “But until the gun lobby is made to pay a price for marketing mistruths to convince a smaller and smaller percentage of its membership that their rights are at risk — all to sell more guns — it will never stop.”
It is difficult to have a dialog with people that want part of the Constitution dismantled if they want you to pay a price for protecting the Second Amendment. Zachery should also realize that the rush to buy guns was not fueled by people trying to protect the right to keep and bear arms.
In a July 31, 2014, fundraising email to supporters, Mark Kelly made the following statement: “Here’s why this election matters: The gun lobby wants to kick out members of Congress who voted to reduce gun violence, and replace them with candidates who’ll do anything to weaken our gun laws.”
There was no vote to reduce gun violence. There was no vote to go after criminal gang members. There was no vote to put mandatory sentencing when a gun was used for a crime. There were only votes trying to restrict law abiding citizens from the type of gun they could own. Most frequently, those types of guns are not used in the commission of a crime. The votes were to criminalize semi-automatic rifle ownership.
Labeling members of Congress who support the Second Amendment as people who support gun violence is an outright fraud.
Mark Kelly hasn’t limited his fundraising to bashing the NRA.
On July 19, 2014, Mr. Kelly sent this statement to supporters in an effort to raise funds: “A congresswoman from New York said she was afraid that a member of the Gun Owners of America, a group led by a man named Larry Pratt, would want to shoot her for wanting to strengthen gun laws, according to Rolling Stone.”
Rolling Stone also thinks the magazine “Junior Shooters” is gun porn for kids. With their infinite wisdom of all things firearms, Rolling Stone has uncovered the “Five Most Dangerous Guns In America” as; pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns and derringers. Quoting Rolling Stone doesn’t make you an informed subject matter expert on policies that lower gun violence.
What may be the saddest aspect to the Kelly nomination of LaPierre is that Kelly is co-opting the ALS ice bucket challenge not to support ALS, but to bring attention to his quest to limit the Second Amendment. Nice guys don’t do that.