For Release: Thursday, March 28, 2002
WASHINGTON, DC – `In conjunction with release of the paperback edition of its most recent book, Every Handgun is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns (The New Press, 2001), the Violence Policy Center (VPC) today launched a new citizen-action web site, www.banhandgunsnow.org. Each year handguns claim more than 20,000 American lives in suicides, homicides, and unintentional shootings. The unique qualities that make handguns ideally suited for violent death and injury concealability coupled with lethality are illustrated daily in American homes and as far away as the Paris suburbs, where yesterday eight were killed and 19 wounded by a French citizen wielding a legally possessed handgun.
Josh Sugarmann, VPC executive director and author of the book, states, “The single bloody thread that runs through our nation’s gun death and injury crisis is the easy accessibility we allow our citizens to the most lethal categories of firearms, with handguns at the top of the list. After each horrific shooting 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 free flow of guns and in particular handguns 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. Tragic shootings are America’s future until we eliminate handguns, the tools that make such violence possible.”
The new VPC web site which contains studies, analyses, survey data, and useful links will be updated continuously. Banhandgunsnow.org is launched with the recognition that more than 30 percent of the American public supports a ban on handguns, with this number rising to as high as 50 percent in the wake of horrific shootings like 1999’s Columbine massacre. Adds Sugarmann, “Our goal is simple: to engage and activate dedicated gun control supporters. Banhandgunsnow.org will give voice to gun control advocates who have grown weary of limited half-measures that may offend few, but fail to accomplish much.”
Every Handgun is Aimed at You: The Case For Banning Handguns covers a wide range of issues in 10 chapters, including: An Introduction to Handguns; The History of Handguns; Handguns and Suicide; Handguns and Self-Defense; Handguns and Crime; Handguns and Women; Handguns and Youth; Handguns and Minorities; Handguns in Public; and, The Case for Banning Handguns. The book is available at bookstores nationwide.