For Release: Tuesday, September 30, 2003
Ban Will End on September 13, 2004 Without Action This Congress, Website Asks, “President Bush, Where do You Stand?”
WASHINGTON, DC – With less than one year until the federal assault weapons ban expires, the Violence Policy Center (VPC) today launched an aggressive new campaign and companion website, www.banassaultweapons.org, aimed at renewing and strengthening the federal assault weapons ban. The website demands action by President Bush, asking,”President Bush, where do you stand?” Although the President has indicated support for renewing the ban, the White House has made no effort to ensure that it happens. The President has a long history of supporting the agenda of the pro-gun lobby. In 2000, Bush was endorsed for President by the National Rifle Association, whose current president, Kayne Robinson, vowed that the organization would have such close relations with Bush that the organization would be working out of the White House. Without action by Bush and Congress, the ban will end on September 13, 2004.
Banassaultweapons.org will engage and activate grassroots advocates and supporters through the Internet in support of an improved ban. The site supplies visitors with tools to e-mail the White House and join the VPC’s campaign, including a compelling 90-second “flash” movie, “The Gun Industry’s Vision of America” which supporters can pass on to their friends (the movie can be viewed at the website). The website is part of a broader campaign to educate the press, public, and policymakers of the need for the “Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2003,” (S. 1431 and H.R. 2038), legislation that would mandate a stronger, more effective, assault weapons ban. Today, a coalition of 86 national and state organizations signed an ad in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call in support of the legislation.
VPC Public Policy Director Joe Sudbay states, “On many issues, President Bush has a history of all talk and no action. When it comes to renewing and strengthening the assault weapons ban, that just won’t work. The White House and their friends at the NRA know that the majority of Americans support the assault weapons ban. This website will give citizens the tools to make that support clear to elected officials. The power of the Internet as another tool for public education and advocacy is clear and this website is just one component of the campaign that the VPC is conducting in support of renewing and strengthening the ban.”