Formed in 2016, Guns Down America is successfully building a future with fewer guns by weakening the gun industry and building political and cultural support for policies that will keep us safe from gun violence. Guns Down America has led the gun violence prevention movement by ending the NRA’s lucrative “murder insurance” program, pushing major American banks to unwind their business relationships with irresponsible gun manufacturers, and forcing large retailers like Walmart to dramatically shrink gun sales. Guns Down America has also been on the forefront of combating armed domestic extremists and safeguarding the American voting process from armed intimidation.
THEORY OF CHANGE
A vast majority of Americans support gun reform, but our leaders continually fail to address the public health crisis of gun violence. We believe this is happening for two primary reasons: 1) lawmakers are reluctant to expand precious political capital on the difficult task of reducing access to firearms, and 2) lawmakers are wary of flaming the culture wars and identity politics that surround this issue. Guns Down America is addressing these challenges by borrowing the successful playbook of the marriage equality movement. We are engaging business voices to help reframe the conversation about gun violence as a business priority while unapologetically pushing lawmakers to live up to the campaign promises they made to us. By bringing apolitical voices into this debate and forming unexpected coalitions, Guns Down America is creating a pathway for legislative reform and critical community investments.
WHY GUNS DOWN AMERICA IS UNIQUE
While some gun violence prevention organizations continue to pursue a failed insider strategy that relies on awaiting instructions from the White House and Congressional allies before pursuing reforms, Guns Down America has embarked on a better path. We focus on driving elected leaders to live up to their promises of boldly fighting to reduce gun violence in our country. Guns Down America also pushes corporations to embrace the cause of gun violence prevention in order to jumpstart the cultural and political change necessary to create safer communities for us all. Prior to founding Guns Down America, Igor Volsky spent 10 years working at the Center for American Progress. Igor made international headlines in late 2015 after he shamed lawmakers for sending “thoughts and prayers” by pairing their insincere condolences with the campaign contributions they received from the NRA. This shaped Guns Down America’s actions of quickly and strategically driving smart rapid response efforts that have a clear and compelling message.