Taking aim at gun issues

Colorado residents concerned about reducing gun violence can turn to a new Web site designed to get them more involved in the political process.

"The whole purpose of the site is to educate voters on the gun issue, where elected officials stand on the issues and how to contact them regarding the issues," said spokesman Ted Pascoe of DoItForTheKids.org (www.doitforthekids.org), which recently launched its site.

The site, Pascoe explained, is designed to network voters in Colorado, where gun safety discussions have become intense in the wake of the Columbine High School shootings last year. The organization surveyed elected officials in the Colorado legislature on gun-related issues, such as mandatory waiting periods, a ban on assault weapons, the use of trigger locks and background checks at gun shows. Pascoe said they received a 60 percent response rate.

To use the site, residents enter their ZIP code. They can then see voting records of their state and federal representatives. The site also provides brief biographies of elected officials, their Web sites and contact information. Users can also register to vote and can compose and send messages to local, state and national media organizations.

Pascoe said the site is intended to be neutral and doesn't advocate any particular issue, except gun safety. The site does provide links to state and national gun control organizations, such as the Colorado GunViolence Accountability Project and Handgun Control Inc., as well as to anti-gun-control advocates, including the National Rifle Association, the Colorado State Shooting Association and the Gun Owners of America.

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