Gun Violence Prevention,
Youth, and Community Groups Urge Washington Redskins to Cancel October
17 Shooting Fundraiser With National Rifle Association (NRA)
Event Comes as
NRA Continues Efforts to Overturn D.C.'s Gun Laws
and local Washington, D.C., area gun violence prevention, youth, and community
organizations delivered a letter today to Washington Redskins owner Daniel
M. Snyder urging him to cancel the Redskins' hosting of the second annual
"Redskins Sporting Clays Challenge, presented by NRA [National Rifle Association]
Sports," on Tuesday, October 17, at the Prince George's County Trap and
Skeet Center. The event is to benefit Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation,
the mission statement of which declares that the foundation works to "make
a positive and measurable impact on youth in the greater Washington, D.C.
region," including their "health and wellness." [See http://www.vpc.org/vpcletter2006.pdf
for a copy of the letter.]
The letter notes,
"At the same time that the District of Columbia is under a `Crime Emergency'
and its young people are continuing to pay a disproportionately high price
in death and injury due to gun homicide, the National Rifle Association
is continuing its efforts to overturn D.C.'s landmark gun laws. The October
2006 issue of the NRA's America's 1st Freedom magazine features
a column condemning D.C.'s `draconian gun control system' and declaring,
`It's time to overturn the D.C. gun law....'"
Federal bills to repeal
the District of Columbia's gun laws promoted by the NRA would: legalize
handguns as well as semiautomatic assault weapons and 50 caliber sniper
rifles; allow any person to carry, openly or concealed, loaded handguns
and other concealable firearms in houses, places of business, or other
land "possessed by that person"; and, severely weaken the District's ban
on armor-piercing handgun ammunition. At the same time, it stands as an
outrageous attack by an outside special interest group on the home rule
rights of D.C. residents.
Noting that this is
the second year that this event has been held�despite public protests
held by D.C. organizations last October calling for its cancellation�the
letter states, "While the NRA may have convinced the Redskins that it
is somehow possible to separate the NRA's political agenda from other
components of the organization, this rationalization is false and, to
be frank, an insult to those whose lives have been ended or changed forever
by the NRA's pro-gun, anti-public safety policies and actions. Recognizing
that gun violence is one of the single most prevalent, and preventable,
factors that can affect the `health and wellness' of youth in the Washington,
D.C., area, we urge the Washington Redskins to end all participation in
this event. The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation's involvement
with an organization whose mission is to repeal Washington D.C.'s gun
laws cannot be reconciled with the mission of the foundation."
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.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Violence Policy Center
(202) 822-8200 x109