WASHINGTON -- Organizing for Action, the advocacy group formed after President Barack Obama's reelection to promote his legislative priorities, is set to back a major new push for gun control as the Senate gears up for a critical vote.
The organization, along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, will host community events across the country on April 13 designed to pressure Congress to act on gun control legislation, according to sources in the group. The theme, tellingly, will be "demand action" and "we have not forgotten." It is a nod to the disconnect between public opinion polls -- which show up to 90 percent of voters backing certain gun policy reforms -- and Congress, where those same reforms face a tough path to passage.
OFA has made background check legislation in particular its primary focus. The group, which succeeded the president's campaign apparatus and is led by some of his former top advisers, has pledged to turn its grassroots muscle into legislative action.
But gun policy has proved trickier than first anticipated. The momentum to pass reforms in the aftermath of the December shooting in Newtown, Conn., appears to have dissipated. A proposed assault weapons ban and a ban on high-capacity magazines now seem dead on arrival in the Senate, while the background check bill will likely have to be watered down significantly to avoid a filibuster led by Republicans and some conservative Democrats.
OFA's goal is to generate enough local pressure so that those senators, as well as members of the House of Representatives, feel that it's in their best interest politically to back legislation. Officials with the group declined to offer specific details on the gun control push, such as which lawmakers would be targeted and whether any politicians, the president included, would be involved.
"These are going to be local events to call Congress to action," was all one official would say, "and we will have more information about exact locations early next week."