Shirley Chambers pauses in her Chicago living room, next to pictures of her son Ronnie who was recently murdered, in Chicago, Illinois, Jan. 30, 2013, Chambers had four children—three boys and a girl. Now they're all gone. The single mother will bury Ronnie on Monday. He was the last of her children—all victims of gun violence in Chicago over a period of 18 years. Picture taken on Jan. 30, 2013. REUTERS/John Gress
Shirley Chambers pauses in her Chicago living room, next to pictures of her son Ronnie, who was recently murdered, in Chicago, Illinois, on Jan. 30, 2013. Chambers has lost all four of her children to gun violence. The NRA can't be allowed to win here.
Toi Hutchison in the Illinois 2nd Congressional District special election is giving Mitt Romney a run for his money.

Goal ThermometerWhen we first checked in, we learned that the NRA has got two "A rating" candidates in this Indigo Blue Chicago-area district—both former Rep. Debbie Halvorson and state Sen. Toi Hutchison. Needless to say, the gun lobby is beyond thrilled at the possibility of getting "1/435th of a vote" out of this urban district.

Of course, now that playing footsie with the NRA is a political liability, the two NRA lackies are crying foul at the issue being debated, refusing to release their NRA questionnaires (which the NRA, conveniently, keeps secret). No longer, as the Chicago Tribune got its hands on Hutchison's answers.

The questionnaire shows Hutchinson was asked if she would support "state legislation restricting the private possession, ownership, purchase, sale and/or transfer of any semi-automatic firearms." She responded, "No, I would oppose such legislation." The question also included the issue of large-capacity ammunition magazines.

Additionally, when asked by the NRA if Hutchinson would support "legislation making it a crime to fail to report the loss or theft of a firearm," she replied: "No, I would oppose such legislation because it has no demonstrated affect on crime and creates an unwarranted legal presumption that gun owners should answer to the police for their own victimization or misfortune."

Our endorsed candidate, Robin Kelly, has worn her "F" rating from the NRA with pride, as she should. As for Hutchison?
Hutchinson maintained that Kelly was running "a single-issue campaign" and trying to score "more political points" marketing the state senator's gun-rights positions "as though they're the positions that I have right now. And, I'm saying very clearly I'm moderating my positions."
Ah well, she's gone from having extremist right-wing views on an issue of extreme impact in her district, to being "moderate" on the issue. So no harm, no foul, right? Except that on this issue, there has clearly been untold harm, and the gun lobby's toxic influence on our society can't be wiped away overnight when it becomes politically expedient.

And really, who the hell wants someone who is "moderating" away from extremism anyway? Leave that shit to Mitt Romney as he see-saws his way around the issues.

This is where we draw a line in the sand. This is where we tell the NRA that it's time to pay an electoral price for its extremism. Contribute $3 to Robin Kelley and help send the NRA packing. As I write this, 644 of you already have, to the tune of nearly $14,500. Let's keep the momentum going!

Originally posted to kos on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 10:12 PM PST.

Also republished by Land of Lincoln Kos, Shut Down the NRA, and Daily Kos.

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