Andrew Patrick, a spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, founded in 1974, said the mass shootings are part of a “public health crisis” in America concerning gun violence.
When the organization was founded it was called the National Coalition to Ban Handguns, and focused on handgun violence specifically. That changed in 1989 after a shooting in Stockton, California in which 5 kids were killed and 30 wounded at an elementary school with an AK-47.
On Sunday, Patrick’s focus was on what he called the “high-powered semi-automatic assault rifles” used in both attacks.
“They’re intended to kill as many people in as short an amount of time as possible, and that’s why they’re chosen by these shooters,” Patrick said. “They’re the official gun of mass shootings.”
Patrick criticized political leaders, from Democratic U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to Republican U.S. President Donald Trump, for a lack of action in Washington, D.C., to ban such weapons.