WASHINGTON�Today's handgun shooting at the Santana High School in Santee,
California, is the latest incident starkly illustrating the need for a
ban on the most deadly category of firearms�the easily concealable handgun�the
Violence Policy Center (VPC) stated today. The VPC is a national organization
working to reduce gun death and injury in America.
The Santana High School shooting follows last month's shootings, outside
the White House and at a Navistar engine assembly plant in Melrose Park,
Illinois. Earlier this year caches of weapons held by college and high
school students planning copycat shootings similar to the 1999 Columbine
massacre were found by law enforcement officials in California and Kansas.
In 1998, there were 2,887 children and young adults, aged 18 and under,
killed by firearms in the US.
Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center and
author of the new book Every Handgun is Aimed at You: The Case for
Banning Handguns (The New Press/March 2001) states, "The single bloody
thread that runs through these incidents is the easy accessability we
allow our citizens to the most lethal categories of firearms, such as
handguns. After these shootings a predictable pattern emerges, we quickly
look for a loophole to be plugged, a limited law that could be better
enforced, or other `common sense' solutions, while never stepping back
to look at the big picture: the freeflow of guns in our nation. America's
gun violence problem will not be solved by licensing and registration,
trigger locks, or lamentations over the evil in men's hearts. These tragic
shootings are America's future until we eliminate handguns, the tools
that make such violence possible."