As Reid Wilson with The Hill reported yesterday, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund has contributed $175,000 to help two Democratic candidates in Virginia air TV ads and flip Republican-held seats this November.
Sheila Bynum-Coleman’s ad, produced in partnership with Everytown, highlights her own personal story of gun violence. In 2016, Sheila’s daughter was shot leaving a party. Fortunately, she survived, and Sheila has made it her mission to fight for common-sense gun violence prevention laws.
This year, Sheila is running to represent the 66th House district in Virginia against Republican Speaker Kirk Cox, a 30-year incumbent. In July, House Republicans under Cox’s leadership adjourned the special session on gun violence prevention within 90 minutes. During the brief special session, the NRA “set up shop” in Cox’s conference room, according to the Washington Post, and Cox’s spokesman “declined to provide examples of other groups that have used it.”
In the weeks following Republicans’ quick adjournment of the special session, House Republican Chris Head said, “We came up with a strategy that would neutralize the issues… We needed to make it go away,” and Cox’s majority leader, Todd Gilbert, received a $200,000 donation from the NRA.
Cox has a long history of opposing common-sense gun violence prevention laws. In 2014, he voted for the “bazooka bill” which would have made it easier to buy military-style weapons like grenades, machine guns, and rocket launchers. He also voted to loosen regulations on safe gun storage in foster homes, making firearms less secure around foster children.