For Release: Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Washington, DC–Following yesterday’s assault weapon rampage shooting in Alabama leaving 11 dead including the shooter, America’s leading national gun violence prevention organizations–Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Freedom States Alliance, Legal Community Against Violence, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, and Violence Policy Center– issued the following joint statement:
“Our sympathies go to all those affected by this terrible tragedy.
“The guns used in yesterday’s rampage shooting across Alabama–a Bushmaster AR-15-style assault rifle and an SKS assault rifle–are military-bred firearms developed for the specific purpose of killing human beings quickly and efficiently. Yesterday’s shooting is only the latest addition to a string of preventable tragedies committed with these military-style weapons. America needs an effective federal assault weapons ban to stop the mass production and marketing by the gun industry of these anti-personnel weapons. Today we call on the U.S. Congress to pass a federal assault weapons ban modeled on California’s effective law that would ban these weapons once and for all.
“The answer to gun violence is not more guns. Alabama has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the nation–more than 57 percent of the state’s households have guns–and some of the weakest gun laws in the country. At the same time, its overall gun death rate for 2005 (16.18 per 100,000) ranks it fifth in the nation. The sad truth is that America will continue to experience these horrific events until Congress listens to the friends and families of the 30,000 Americans who die from guns each year instead of the National Rifle Association.”