For Release: Friday, December 13, 2013
Washington, DC — Josh Sugarmann, Executive Director of the Violence Policy Center and a native of Newtown, Connecticut, released the following statement prior to the anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012:
“Nothing prepared me for the shock, horror, and grief I felt when Newtown, where I grew up and attended public schools, became the latest American community to be devastated by gun violence. Seeing this familiar place through the dark prism of a mass shooting was truly heartbreaking. At the same time, seeing the residents of Newtown join together, standing strong in the face of tragedy, made me proud to say I grew up there. In the year since, I have been even more proud as they have organized, advocated, and fought tirelessly to stop this nightmare from ever happening again.
“Over the coming year, I and other advocates will work to make sure that nobody forgets the tragedy of 12/14 — or any of the other mass shootings that have occurred since then. We must continue the call for comprehensive federal legislation to address gun violence, including a ban on assault weapons like the one used in Newtown, effective universal background checks, and a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines. In addition, we need to end the gun industry’s outrageous status as the only consumer product that the federal government does not regulate for health and safety. We should hold firearms to the same health and safety standards as all consumer products, from toys to trucks, aspirin to airplanes. Meanwhile, we can work to diminish the clout and power of the National Rifle Association by continuing to expose the organization as the gun industry trade association its leaders have allowed it to become.”
About the Violence Policy Center