For Release: Monday, June 13, 2016
In response to the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, that left 49 victims dead and 53 injured, Violence Policy Center Executive Director Josh Sugarmann issued the following statement:
The future that was feared is now. Lethal mass shootings now occur in our nation with a regularity that is as stunning as it is grotesque. And the lethal thread that binds them all no matter the motive is always the same: a semiautomatic firearm with a high-capacity ammunition magazine, often an assault weapon, used to destroy as many lives as possible. All that changes now is the number of innocent victims of each horrific event. Assault weapons like the AR-15 used in the Orlando shooting were designed for a simple purpose: to kill as many people as quickly and efficiently as possible. These semi-automatic military-bred firearms, and the high-capacity detachable ammunition magazines that enhance their firepower, should not be sold in any nation that considers itself civilized.