WASHINGTON – Their signs are homemade,and sometimes there are only a handful of them,but a group of Washington residents has been protesting outside the White House for months asking Congress to pass what they call common-sense gun laws.
The protesters,who say they are concerned citizen activists from Washington,accuse the National Rifle Association of using its connections to block laws that will help improve the the safety of U.S. citizens.
“What we would like to see is the Congress of the United States to stand up for the welfare of the American people instead of the welfare of the NRA leadership,” Linda Finkel-Talvadkar,61,said. “That lobby is tremendously powerful. A lot of people don’t understand the extent of their power over Congress,and that is a huge influence on the way Congress passes legislation concerning guns.”
The group,made up mostly of friends who are retired,has been protesting every Monday since July 20. The number varies from three to 20. They decided to protest to tell the world “enough of the shootings” after the July movie theater shooting in Aurora,Colo.,Finkel-Talvadkar said.
Among other things,the protesters want all gun buyers to pass criminal background checks. Buyers must submit to background checks at stores but not at gun shows. The group also seeks a ban on all military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Finkel-Talvadkar a retired school principal,said Congress should pass a law to require a 28 day waiting period before someone can buy a gun and gun safety training for all buyers.
“We want to close the gun show loophole,which means that people who buy guns at gun shows very often don’t have backgrounds checks – nothing – they don’t even need IDs,and they can buy as many assault weapons. So we need to close that,” she said.
Elsas said the law should make it difficult for people to buy 6,000 rounds of ammunition as the shooter in the Aurora,Colo.,did.
The group intends to continue the protest until Congress passes a gun law.
Reach reporter Eddie Ameh at [email protected] or 202-326-9868. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire.