By Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, 6/29/16
“Rep. Costello, do your job!” was the first of several chants by the 25 people assembled under his office window on West Market St. on June 27.
Then, it was on to “Background checks now!” and “No guns for terrorists!”
And “What did Congress do after Sandy Hook?” Reply: “Nothing!” And the chants went on to a list of other mass shootings after which Congress likewise did nothing.
Chester County Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence leader Tom Buglio pointed out that 80-90% of Americans poll as wanting background checks and gun denials for individuals on the terrorist watch list—issues about which Rep. Ryan Costello (R PA-06) won’t meet with CCCPGV personally, though his office staff has.
According to Buglio, Costello is typical of today’s US House: he took $10,000 in NRA funding 2 years ago and avoids every chance to engage with gun violence prevention advocates. Buglio read from Costello’s statement after the Orlando shootings; Costello speaks repeatedly of “terrorism” and “hate” but does not stress that terrorists and haters should not have easy access to assault-style guns.
Activists have repeatedly asked Costello to cosponsor HR 1217, introduced by Peter King [R-NY-2] and cosponsored by almost 200, including 5 R’s and 2 D’s from PA, but Costello will not answer. (See HR 1217 info here.) Buglio challenged Costello: “Stop protecting the NRA and start protecting your constituents.”
The next speaker, John Gribbin, saw Orlando as an attack directed against the LGBT population, not as terrorism in general….
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