VA Tech Families, Gun Violence Prevention Advocates Laud President Obama's Public Safety Proposals
Families ask Virginia legislators to support President's sensible proposals to stop the violence
Richmond, VA – Family members of Virginia Tech shooting shooting victims and gun violence prevention advocates today came out in support of proposals from President Obama's gun violence prevention task force, including measures to implement comprehensive background checks on all firearms purchases, ban military-style assault weapons, and limit high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Lori Haas, whose daughter, Emily, was shot in the head during the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, strongly endorsed the President's proposals. “No parent should live in fear that their child may be the next victim of gun violence. How many more times do we have to go through this until our leaders act? Comprehensive background checks for all firearms purchases is a common sense proposal that will help keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous people. I urge our federal legislators to support this sensible measure to keep our families safe.”
Of the more than 6.6 million guns sold every year, 40 percent of those sales are conducted without a background check. [New England Journal of Medicine] Eighty two percent of all gun owners—including 74 percent of NRA members—support requiring a criminal background check for all gun purchases. [Center for American Progress] According to a recent Quinnipiac survey conducted in early January, 92% of Virginians support background checks. [Washington Post]
Andrew Goddard's son, Colin, was also shot at Virginia Tech. Seung-Hui Cho used fifteen high capacity magazines in the course of his rampage that killed 32 people and wounded 17. Andrew Goddard, President of the Virginia Center for Public Safety, endorsed proposals to limit high capacity magazines and ban military-style assault weapons. “Support for the Second Amendment goes hand in hand with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous people. Military-style semi-automatic assault weapons and high capacity magazines have very limited use for civilians that is far outweighed by their ability to kill as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. It's time for the gun lobby to get out of the way of common sense gun laws, laws that gun owners support, and help make sure our families are safe.”
Assault weapons and/or high-capacity magazines were used in at least one-third of high-profile shootings in the last four years, including, Sandy Hook, Aurora, and Tucson. A recent Quinnipiac survey found strong majorities of Virginians support a national ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. [Washington Post] In fact, research shows that banning high-capacity magazines decreases the number of high-capacity magazines recovered at crime scenes. A study by The Washington Post found that during the 10-year federal ban of assault weapons the number of guns police recovered with high-capacity magazines dropped to a low of 9 percent when the ban expired in 2004. That number jumped to 20 percent just six years later. [Washington Post]
Thirty three Americans are murdered by guns every single day. The time to act is now. Over one million Americans have taken action to Demand A Plan to end gun violence. President Obama has responded with common sense proposals to prevent future tragedies. Virginia's federal representatives should support these measures that will keep our families safe.
The Virginia Center for Public Safety is a non-profit, non-partisan grass roots organization dedicated to the reduction of gun violence in Virginia.
Virginians for Responsible Gun Laws (VRGL) advocates for laws to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals.