The Common Good

Guns and immigration: Tale of two movements

Date: April 2, 2013

The story on the effort for immigration reform is infinitely more hopeful. Activists are pushing hard in a variety of ways to make their voices heard. The Post’s David Nakamura reports that evangelicals are expanding an ad campaign on Christian radio stations. And there will be a series of demonstrations here in Washington. April 10 will see a planned rally of thousands at the Capitol. April 17 will see religious leaders swarming lawmakers for meetings. Labor unions get into the act in May. Of course, the momentum on immigration reform benefits from a desperate need by the Republican Party to do right by the fastest growing minority group in the United States.

“It’s been said that the most compelling voice a legislator hears is that of his own constituents,” said Tim King, communications director at Sojourners, a Christian advocacy group on social issues that is helping stage the radio ad campaign.

That adage is true, except, it seems, when it comes to taming the scourge of gun violence. To be fair, gun control advocates are doing the best they can. Through a super PAC and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is self-financing efforts to buck up the courage of members of Congress to do the right thing. Groups such as 20 Children and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, both of which sprang from the horror of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings last December, are also doing their best. But that’s not good enough.