For Release: Wednesday, July 8, 1998
“Clinton Cares More About Photo Ops Than Real Solutions”
The Violence Policy Center issued the following statement from VPC Director of Federal Policy Kristen Rand about President Clinton’s press conference on gun safety, scheduled for this morning:
- “President Clinton clearly hopes today’s White House press event will burnish his credentials as an opponent of gun violence. But action speaks louder than words – even words spoken in the Rose Garden. This week’s true test of commitment to gun control is at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, where the Senate is now debating a disastrous product liability bill that would shield gun manufacturers from lawsuits by gun victims.
“President Clinton has turned his back on gun control by supporting this product liability bill, and now he wants to change the subject. While the gun safety bill he is expected to endorse today is a good piece of legislation, its passage is a far-off dream while the liability bill is a nightmare for gun control right now.
“By inviting gun victims to the White House one day, and kicking them out of the courthouse the next day, President Clinton proves that he cares more about photo ops than real solutions to gun violence. Like a stage magician, he hopes to distract his audience from the real action with engaging chatter and a quick flourish. The only thing that will disappear if he pulls off this trick is the right of ordinary citizens to seek justice after their lives are torn apart by guns.
“The real hero at the White House today is Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), the sponsor of the gun safety bill receiving the President’s blessing. Sen. Durbin has worked hard to write this bill, but he isn’t resting on those laurels. He understands that the gun industry has responsibility for gun safety, not just parents. That’s why Sen. Durbin also opposes the product liability bill and supports an amendment to cut its limits on gun litigation.
“As for the President, a hundred Rose Garden press conferences won’t be enough to undo the damage of signing the product liability bill.”