Last week, we asked you to write to Congress and tell them what Purple Points you've found around the issue of Guns in America.
Did you know that several of our past presidents did this years ago?
In 1994, Bill Clinton was president and a bill to ban assault weapons had passed the Senate but was having difficulty in the House. Former Presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan wrote an open letter to the House of Representatives together urging them to pass the bill. (You can read the letter below.) The bill eventually passed by just two votes.
Our leaders recognized that their message was more powerful when delivered together. They also decided to put the interest of our nation above partisan politics. Two Republicans joining forces with a Democrat to support the agenda of another Democrat? That's a positively purple presidential moment.
The law banning assault weapons was allowed to lapse in 2004.
Is it time to bring it back? Is that a purple point today?
Let's find out and get writing!
We can follow the lead of our former presidents...
They have set a purple precedent!
-The Purple Living Room Team
Read the Letter Here...
May 3, 1994
To Members of the U.S. House of Representatives:
We are writing to urge your support for a ban on the domestic manufacture of military-style assault weapons. This is a matter of vital importance to the public safety. Although assualt weapons account for less than 1% of the guns in circulation, they account for nearly 10% of the guns traced to crime.
Every major law enforcement organization in America and dozens of leading labor, medical, religious, civil rights and civic groups support such a ban. Most importantly, poll after poll shows that the American public overwhelmingly support a ban on assault weapons. A 1993 CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll found that 77% of Americans support a ban on the manufacture, sale, and possession of semi-automatic assault guns, such as the AK-47.
The 1989 import ban resulted in an impressive 40% drop in imported assault weapons traced to crime between 1989 and 1991, but the killing continues. Last year, a killer armed with two TEC9s killed eight people at a San Francisco law firm and wounded several others. During the past five years, more than 40 law enforcement officers have been killed or wounded in the line of duty by an assault weapon.
While we recognize that assault weapon legislation will not stop all assault weapon crime, statistics prove that we can dry up the supply of these guns, making them less accessible to criminals. We urge you to listen to the American public and to the law enforcement community and support a ban on the further manufacture of these weapons.
Gerald R. Ford
Source: Los Angeles Times
"Meet in the Middle" is a Purple Living Room campaign encouraging people from across the political spectrum to meet together each week in order to find common ground. Each middle of the week (WEDNESDAY!) we'll post an update on Purple Living Room Project activities. Share YOUR progress on our Facebook group page or in the comments here. Our goal?