For Release: Wednesday, February 7, 2001
It’s the Guns Stupid, Says VPC
WASHINGTON Today’s alleged shooting by Robert Pickett with a handgun at the White House is the latest incident starkly illustrating the need for a ban on the most deadly categories of firearms – small, easily concealable handguns and high-powered assault weapons the Violence Policy Center stated today. The VPC is a national organization working to reduce gun death and injury in America and is the only gun control organization that actively works for a national handgun ban.
The White House shooting follows by two days a workplace shooting at a Navistar engine assembly plant in Melrose Park, Illinois, in which a former employee, William D. Baker, opened fire with a handgun and an SKS assault rifle. Baker killed four and hospitalized three before taking his own life. In the past two weeks alone, caches of weapons held by college and high school students planning copycat shootings similar to the 1999 Columbine massacre have been found by law enforcement officials in California and Kansas.
Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center and author of the new book Every Handgun is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns (The New Press/March 2001) states, “The single bloody thread that runs through these incidents is the easy accessability we allow our citizens to the most lethal categories of weapons, such as handguns. After these shootings a predictable pattern emerges, we quickly look for a loophole to be plugged, a limited law that could be better enforced, or other `common sense’ solutions, while never stepping back to look at the big picture: the freeflow of guns in our nation. America’s gun violence problem will not be solved by licensing and registration, trigger locks, or lamentations over the evil in men’s hearts. It will be solved only when we look at the tools that make such violence possible. To paraphrase: It’s the guns, stupid.”