For Release: Friday, February 15, 2008
Washington, DC–Following yesterday’s mass shooting at Northern Illinois University which left six dead, including the shooter, and 16 wounded, America’s leading national gun violence prevention organizations, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and the Violence Policy Center, issued the following joint statement:
“Our sympathies go to all those affected by this terrible tragedy.
America is in a gun crisis. Yesterday’s shooting at Northern Illinois University was the sixth mass shooting in less than two weeks. On college campuses, in malls and stores, and in our neighborhoods, our nation is paying the ultimate price for the ease with which we allow almost anyone access to increasingly powerful weaponry. Yet all too many of our elected officials remain deaf to the daily toll guns exact across our nation. Mass shootings are not a force of nature unstoppable by man. They are the predictable result of our nation’s weak gun policies, and much can be done to prevent them.
To prevent future mass shootings we must begin to ratchet down the firepower that is available to civilians. For years, we have outlined proposals to reduce gun violence. We call on the presidential candidates to make gun violence prevention a priority issue. We demand that Congress hold hearings on gun violence prevention. And we urge federal and state policymakers to act immediately to implement policies such as those outlined below that will work to reduce the carnage:
- An effective ban on all semiautomatic assault weapons. In addition, the Bush Administration should act immediately to better enforce the existing federal ban on the importation of foreign-made assault weapons.
- A complete ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
- Ensure that all gun sales at gun shows are subject to a background check.
- Establish a system whereby university officials are notified when a student purchases a gun from a gun dealer.”
About the Violence Policy Center
The Violence Policy Center is a national educational organization working to stop gun death and injury. Follow the VPC on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.