A diverse group of Americans literally just voted for their lives

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL November 10, 2018

A handy statistic: At least 17 newly elected US Congressmen and women back stricter gun laws.

Fun fact: They defeated incumbents backed by the National Rifle Association.

Okay, so the 17 were Democrats but this is not about party so much as sensible safety measures and even in red (Republican) states, voters appear to have advanced that cause.

Georgia’s 6th district is a case in point. Formerly held by Republican speaker Newt Gingrich, who took the seat in 1978, it was won on Tuesday, November 6, by an African-American woman whose 17-year-old son was shot dead in a gas-station parking lot over a dispute about loud music six years ago. The murder turned Lucy McBath into a gun-safety activist, inspired her to run for Congress and she won.

In Washington state, voters easily passed a referendum that will raise to 21 the legal age to purchase semiautomatic rifles. Other gun safety measures were also agreed.

In Florida, Georgia and Texas, Democrats who ran on gun safety did better than they have in years, marking a shift in gun politics in the South.

That the gun-control group is growing larger in Congress reflects the views of the American people: 61 per cent of Americans want stricter gun laws, according to Gallup. That includes some gun owners. Support for universal background checks and red-flag laws is even higher.

As Ms McBath put it in a tweet after her election victory:

“Absolutely nothing — no politician & no special interest — is more powerful than a mother on a mission”.

Or like a diverse group of people literally voting for their lives.