“We Shouldn’t Have Assault Weapons Available”

A top White House advisor lays out Obama’s new line on gun control.

White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett speaks with retired judge LaDoris Cordell at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. Courtesy of <a href=http://www.nortonbasu.com/>Norton Basu</a>

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It’s all Democratic hands on deck in the gun control fight.

As House Democrats staged a sit-in on the House floor Wednesday evening, White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett did her part in an appearance before San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club.

“It’s our view that we shouldn’t have assault weapons available,” she said. “They’re really dangerous. They really are common-sense reforms that we’ve been asking for.”

Beyond pushing the White House’s goal of banning assault weapons, Jarrett urged expanding background checks and encouraged people make their voices heard.* She lauded Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) for initiating the sit-in.

“He has just had enough, and he doesn’t know what else to do other than just sit there and demonstrate until he can get his colleagues on the Republican side of the House to come and just do their jobs,” she said.

Since the mass shooting in Orlando, legislators supporting gun-control have been busy. It started last week when Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) filibustered the Senate for almost 15 hours and demanded a vote on gun-control legislation. That brought votes on four proposals in a special Senate session Monday night, but the measures failed.

Then, Rep. Lewis led a sit-in on Wednesday, demanding a vote on a bill that would prevent people on a no-fly targeting terrorists list from purchasing firearms. “Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary; sometimes you have to make a way out of no way,” Lewis said. “We have been too quiet for too long.”

Earlier this week, Jarrett hosted a conference call with signers of a White House petition to ban the AR-15 and outlined several other administration initiatives, including looking into smart gun technology and funding research on gun homicides by the Centers for Disease Control. (An NRA-backed measure banned federal funding for such research in the 1990s.)

On Wednesday night Jarrett said it will take a lot for gun control advocates to beat the NRA.

“They have a lot of money and a lot of influence, and the only thing that’s going to be a counterbalance to that is truly you; it’s the American people,” Jarrett said. “When you care as much about keeping our children safe as the NRA does about making weapons available to every single person, that’s when change will happen.”

Clarification: While Jarrett noted people are encouraging their elected officials, she did not specifically urge them to do so.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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