In a very eventful week on gun violence, this was the climax. On the day after the Las Vegas Strip shooting that killed 3 and wounded 3 more, and 3 days after Rep. Joe Heck (R-Henderson) agreeing with local right wing talk radio host Alan Stock's characterization of Gabby Giffords as a "prop", there were both progressive protesters and "tea party" protesters outside Heck's district office in the Southwest Valley.
Just hours after Heck appeared on Alan Stock's show, he held a town hall meeting in Henderson where he took several questions on gun safety. And after that disastrous radio debacle, Heck tried toning down his language on guns. He even endorsed universal background checks and legislation to curb illegal gun trafficking. Yet even on Tuesday, he used some rather strong language in defending civilian use of military grade assault weapons.
That's why OFA Nevada, ProgressNow Nevada, the Southwest Democratic Club, and more grassroots progressives were paying a(nother) visit to Heck's office. They wanted to know what he will actually do when he returns to Washington. Will he abide by what he said Tuesday when he promised to reach across the aisle on gun trafficking, background checks, and even allowing CDC research on gun violence? Or will he cave to "tea party" pressure (again)? After all, they were there to protest Heck doing anything on gun safety!
Kathleen Wilson is a Navy veteran, a mom, and a local OFA volunteer. She went to Joe Heck's office to ask him to use common sense when looking at gun safety reform proposals.
Teresa Crawford and Linda Cavazos are OFA "super volunteers" in Henderson. Teresa is also a registered nurse who lives just down the hill from Heck's posh guard gated community. Linda works as a mental health professional, and she & her husband are responsible gun owners. They spoke about what Heck said this week, the gun violence Southern Nevada has experienced recently, and why Congress must act on all of President Obama's gun safety agenda.
Outside, progressive protesters outnumbered "tea party" protesters by about 3:1. Yet several Heck staffers came outside to greet both sides. And they had "constituent comment forms" on them. Heck himself was not to be found.
This has been quite a week here in Southern Nevada. We had another painful reminder of the reality of gun violence in this country. And a Member of Congress here has been trying to straddle the fence in the gun safety debate.
But now, it's time for Joe Heck to act. And it's time for the rest of Congress to act. After today's event, some OFA volunteers will hand deliver letters to the respective offices of Senators Harry Reid (D) and Dean Heller (R) asking them to act on the entire gun safety agenda proposed by the President. Nevadans demand action. That's something Heck's staff should have noticed today.