Arizona People Acting for a Safer Society (AZPASS) formally endorses former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, Democrat for U.S. Congress in Arizona's Congressional District 7 race, in recognition of her decades-long record in favor of sensible gun laws.
In January 2013, Arizona People Acting for a Safer Society (AZPASS), composed of concerned Valley residents, organized as an Arizona nonprofit 501 (c) (4) corporation to research and educate the public about the impact of gun violence on our culture, and to support sensible legislation aimed at reducing the current epidemic of gun violence. AZPASS, under the direction of its chair, Ellen Davis (lawyer and Ahwatukee mom), collected more than 125,000 petition signatures to restore the ban on assault weapons. In July of 2013, in conjunction with Mayors against Illegal Guns, other gun violence prevention groups, and the parents of young people who were killed in the Aurora Colorado theater massacre, AZPASS presented the petition to Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain, and may have been a factor in Senator McCain's vote in favor of background checks. AZPASS also supports limiting the size of gun and rifle magazines, and opposes "Stand Your Ground" or any other legislation which has been proven to encourage people to resort to gun violence.
Mary Rose Wilcox, herself a victim of gun violence, initiated and championed gun buyback programs in the 1980s, in 1996 and 1998, and again in 2012. Wilcox supports background checks in all cases, including gun shows, is in favor of limited magazine sizes, particularly on semi-automatic weapons, and supports bans on AK-47s and similar assault-type weapons. She also stands in firm opposition to Stand Your Ground Laws and similar bills that expand the permissible use of deadly force.
Supervisor Wilcox's opponent former State Representative Ruben Gallego does not merit AZPASS's endorsement. In March 2011, Representative Gallego voted for HB 2645, which eased the procedure for persons found by a court to be a danger to apply for the restoration of the right to possess a firearm. In February 2012, Gallego voted for HB 2640, which removed restrictions on the size of magazines for hunting rifles. In March of 2012, Gallego voted for SB1241 to allow the re-sale and re-distribution of weapons seized in crimes, frustrating the goal of decreasing rather than increasing the number of weapons in circulation. In April of 2012, Representative Gallego chose to bring a gun to the state capitol in response to his concerns about another legislator's erratic behavior. The National Rifle Association (NRA) gave Gallego a B+ approval rating in 2012 for his votes in the state legislature.
AZPASS supports Mary Rose Wilcox because she has proven that she has the courage to stand up and say NO! to gun violence.
When my wife and I tried to park in the designated visitor parking area at Sen. Jeff Flake’s Phoenix office recently, we were told by security to leave or our car would be towed. When we questioned this, as we were there to join with others to hold him accountable for his vote against universal background checks for gun purchases, we were told parking there was for office tenants only. As we were pulling out of the parking lot, security people began blocking all entrances to the parking lot with pick-up trucks and chains.
Sen. Flake seems so concerned about convenience in exercising the Second Amendment, but he evidently doesn’t mind at all making it difficult for law-abiding citizens to exercise First Amendment rights to assemble peaceably and petition our government. Our tax dollars pay for the rent on his office, where Flake hides behind keypad access security doors, bullet-proof glass and now security cordons around his office parking lot. Sen. Flake does not feel a need to directly answer victims of gun violence specifically or the people of Arizona generally for voting against expanded background checks for gun purchasers. Credible, scientifically conducted polls show that between 70 and 90 percent of Arizonans support that common sense measure. Flake certainly has no problem making it harder to exercise First Amendment rights, but he won’t vote to make it harder for criminals, terrorists, and the mentally ill to purchase guns.