For Release: Thursday, September 6, 2001
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 by strangers.”
“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.
- Domestic violence involving a firearm was12 times more likely to result in death than domestic violence where no firearm is involved.
- In California in 1999, more Hispanics were murdered with a handgun (572 victims) than any other racial/ethnic group.
“The fact is America will continue to endure tragedies like the one in Simi Valley until we ban handguns,” Kristen Rand, VPC Legislative Director.