New York – -(AmmoLand.com)- Like the Brady Campaign, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has taken a back seat to other anti-Second Amendment groups, primarily the Bloomberg-funded Moms Demand Action and March 4 Our Lives.
However, this is a group Second Amendment supporters need to understand since the group’s approach is a more basic version of what we see from anti-Second Amendment extremists today, particularly in the quasi-religious furor.
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
This group has been around for 45 years – and it began as a project of the United Methodist Church called the National Coalition to Ban Handguns.
The term coalition is not inaccurate; either – about four dozen organizations are involved with this anti-Second Amendment group, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the National Urban League.
When former Brady Campaign president Dan Gross discussed the “ideological hatred” of Second Amendment supporters at a pro-Second Amendment rally this past weekend, CSGV was one of the groups he was probably talking about. Why? One thing to note from the list, on an archived version of CSGV’s web site, is that a number of the member groups are religious in nature. While Gross was looking to save lives, and the Brady Campaign reached out to hunters and sportsmen to separate them from the NRA, CSGV views the destruction of our freedoms as a moral and ideological crusade.
The group changed from the National Coalition to Ban Handguns to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence after the 1989 Stockton mass shooting, when a person with a lengthy criminal record misused an AK-47-style modern, multi-purpose, semi-automatic, rifle to kill six people at an elementary school. In fact, it was CSGV that laid the groundwork to go after modern, multi-purpose, semiautomatic, firearms. Josh Sugarmann, better known for running the Violence Policy Center, was the staffer for CSGV who suggested going after those firearms in a 1988 report that was co-authored with the group’s non-profit, the Educational Fund to End Handgun Violence (later re-named the Educational Fund to End Gun Violence), mainly because the cause of banning handguns was falling flat.
The strategic move worked, and what became the Brady Campaign picked it up and ran with it. Second Amendment supporters should understand that it was CSGV that took that approach. During the 1990s and through the 2000s, CSGV played second fiddle to the Brady Campaign.
Starting in 2008, though, things changed. In June of that year, Washington D.C.’s handgun ban was struck down by the Supreme Court in the Heller decision. Two years later, Chicago’s gun control was taken down in the McDonald case. Then in the wake of the horrific and tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Second Amendment supporters beat back significant restrictions on our rights.
Since then, CSGV has taken an even harder stance, declaring the National Rifle Association, an insurrectionist group. Leaving aside the fact that the NRA has urged peaceful action in defense of our rights, such as writing lawmakers, volunteering or donating money to political candidates and causes, and other activities protected by the First Amendment, the smear by CSGV is worth noting. In essence, it is putting forth the pretenses used to justify the social stigmatization and blacklisting of Second Amendment supporters that we see today.
So, even as CSGV stays in the background of more prominent groups, it is still essential to understand. Second Amendment supporters should view the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence as a dangerous adversary, mainly because their increasing demonization of Second Amendment supporters is leading to abuses like Andrew Cuomo’s, as well as the push for corporate gun control. They also have been engaged in long-term planning, something Second Amendment supporters have struggled with.
The good news is that CSGV’s demonization of those who choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights gives us the opening to get gun owners and hunters involved in the fight to protect our freedoms. That is what gives us a fighting chance against this anti-Second Amendment extremist organization.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics, and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.