Gun control is a topic of heated discussion in the United States.
Idaho is certainly no exception to that. When people list the most gun-friendly states in the country, Idaho is at or near the top of the list.
Recently, four Idaho cities issued proclamations under the direction of Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action.
Boise, Sandpoint, Coeur d’Alene, and Pocatello all declared June 5th “Gun Violence Awareness Day.”
The day is the gun control group’s annual event where they remember individuals who were killed by someone else with a firearm or took their own lives with a firearm.
For approximately seven years they have held “Gun Violence Awareness Day.” However, it is only recently that they have asked city councils and mayors to recognize their event here in Idaho.
The new Boise mayor, Lauren McLean, previously showed her support for Michael Bloomberg’s groups prior to winning her election.
She attended at least one meeting with the group “Moms Demand Action.”
This is the first year that Mayor McLean had the opportunity to issue the proclamation on behalf of the gun control groups and she did.
Hadiya Pendleton, who is the reason for the annual event, was a 15-year-old girl who was shot in the back while standing outside with her friends in Chicago.
Two gang members, who were later arrested and charged with her murder, told police she was not the intended target. Instead, they believed Hadiya and her friends were part of a rival gang.
Chicago is one of the most notorious cities in the country for gang violence and Hadiya is another victim of the gang feuds that have wreaked havoc on the city for years.
In order to remember Hadiya, Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety designated June 5th as “Gun Violence Awareness Day.” Additionally, the groups encourage people to wear orange.
This year, Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene also issued proclamations in support of the gun control group’s efforts.
Both cities have had disputes over 2nd Amendment issues in recent years.
Sandpoint is currently being sued by Bonner County and two 2nd Amendment organizations over allowing a non-profit organization to prohibit the carrying of firearms in a public park.
Coeur d’Alene previously had an ordinance that prohibited citizens from carrying firearms within 1,000 feet of a parade. The ordinance was a violation of Idaho’s firearm preemption statute and was removed several years ago.
Pocatello’s mayor issuing the proclamation may be the biggest surprise because the mayor is a Republican.
The Pocatello chapter of Moms Demand Action wrote a letter to the editor about the proclamation in the Idaho State Journal.
While the other cities are considered more liberal, Pocatello’s Republican mayor may come under fire by his supporters for helping the gun control groups.
Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety both promote policies banning the sale of AR-15’s and magazines that hold more than ten rounds. They also want Universal Background Checks, the repeal of Stand-Your-Ground, the repeal of Constitutional Carry law, and more.
These gun control group’s platforms run contrary to what pro-2nd Amendment groups want.
In Idaho, gun control policies are difficult to pass. That’s why gun control groups spend most of their time trying to stop whatever pro-2nd Amendment groups are pushing.
For that reason, it was surprising to some that Mayor Blad, a Republican, is helping the gun control groups.
Rep. Christy Zito, known for her work in expanding Constitutional Carry in Idaho, said this about the gun control group’s efforts in Idaho, “In the state of Idaho and our world, we do not have a “gun violence” problem. We have a violence problem where people harm or kill one another or themselves. The right to keep and bear arms is protected by the Constitution of the United States of America and is there to ensure that the citizens of this country are able to protect themselves from the tyranny of government.”
Rep. Zito then had this warning for Idahoans and told Idaho Dispatch, “Make no mistake that in the state of Idaho your 2nd Amendment rights are under attack. Even the promise of being in a “red state” doesn’t guarantee your rights are safe. It took years to complete constitutional carry in Idaho. The push back was real. There are plenty of Republicans that will support Red Flag laws and more if we don’t watch what is happening here. It is up to the citizens of this state to flex their political muscles and protect what is rightfully theirs. This is the time that everyone who cherishes freedom and liberty takes a stand for their rights.”
Seth Rosquist, Chairman of the Board for the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, told Idaho Dispatch “I expect liberal mayors to support the efforts of the gun control crowd, but I am stunned that Mayor Blad of Pocatello would support their efforts. That’s extremely disappointing. This day is used by the gun control crowd to help push more of their policies in Idaho.”
We have reached out to Mayor Blad and asked him why he chose to issue the proclamation. He has not yet responded and if he does, we’ll update the article accordingly.
One thing is for certain, the Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety groups have begun to grow their organizations in Idaho. It’s a long road ahead for them in a state where a bad stance on firearm policy will likely cost an elected official their job.
Will more cities join the gun control groups in their efforts next year?
Let us know what you think of “Gun Violence Awareness Day” in the comments below.
Tags: 2nd Amendment, Brian Blad, Christy Zito, Gun Control, Lauren McLean