For Release: Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Event Comes as NRA Continues Efforts to Overturn D.C.’s Gun Laws
Washington, D.C. — National 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://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.”