Even The Safest City
in America Cannot Escape Handgun Violence
WASHINGTON, DC�The Violence Policy Center (VPC) today was saddened by
the Wednesday's tragic shooting in Simi Valley, California. Reynoldo Herrera
Rodriguez allegedly opened fire with a handgun, killing a grandmother
and two children and injuring three others. The suspected gunman was believed
to be the ex-boyfriend of one of the victims.
In May, FBI statistics showed Simi Valley to be the safest city in the
nation among communities with at least 100,000 residents.
"With this tragedy there must be a reality check�as long as handguns
are easily accessible, we will all suffer these horrifying and fatal consequences,"
Kristen Rand, VPC Legislative Director said today. "The majority of homicides
in America result from confrontations between people who know each other
and not, as the gun lobby would have you believe, from criminal attacks
"The truth is that the greatest threat to a woman is the men she knows
best: husbands, boyfriends, and other intimate acquaintances with ready
access to handguns. Unfortunately the incident in Simi Valley reflects
the true nature of gun violence, people shooting people they know."
In 1999, 70% of people murdered with a handgun knew their killers, where
the relationship could be determined.
violence involving a firearm was12 times more likely to result in death
than domestic violence where no firearm is involved.
California in 1999, more Hispanics were murdered with a handgun (572
victims) than any other racial/ethnic group.
fact is America will continue to endure tragedies like the one in Simi
Valley until we ban handguns," Kristen Rand, VPC Legislative Director.
The Violence Policy Center is a
national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence
in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals.
The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research
on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related
death and injury.
Thursday, September 6, 2001
Violence Policy Center
(202) 822-8200 x105