FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2021
(p) 202-408-0061 Ext. 1017
Six Years After Charleston Tragedy, It’s Past Time For Legislation to Reduce Gun Violence
WASHINGTON — Today, America remembers and honors the lives and enduring legacy of the “Emanuel Nine.” A horrific act of life-ending violence occurred when a man armed with a gun and fueled by hate violently attacked the historic Mother Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Lauren Footman, Director of Outreach and Equity at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, released the following statement in response to this solemn anniversary:
“The murder of nine Black churchgoers at the Mother Emanuel AME Church is emblematic of how racism is still deeply embedded in American society and how hate and firearms are a lethal combination.
“Six years ago, the vast majority of Americans recognized that to honor the Emanuel Nine, both Congress and state legislators must pass gun violence prevention legislation to disarm hate and ensure these kinds of attacks never happen again. But elected leaders in South Carolina and at the national level, aligned with the gun lobby, have managed to block meaningful legislation while communities across the country continue to hear thoughts and prayers without decisive action. Black and Brown Americans in particular bear the brunt of the American gun violence epidemic from community violence to police violence.
“It is way past time for our elected representatives to follow the will of the people and pass legislation to disarm hate and close the ‘Charleston loophole’ that allowed this horrific tragedy to happen six years ago.
“We hold the Emmanuel Nine and the city of Charleston in our hearts today on this somber anniversary. We commit to continuing to strengthen relationships with communities of color and to amplify policies and programmatic agendas that recognize that those closest to the pain should be leading the way as our country determines meaningful solutions.
“Today, we say the names of those killed in Charleston on June 17, 2015. We also remember the countless others whose names we may never know who have been lost to the deadly combination of racism and gun violence.
Ethel Lee Lance
About the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Founded in 1974, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is the nation’s oldest gun violence prevention organization. We believe gun violence should be rare and abnormal. CSGV develops and advocates for evidence-based solutions to reduce gun injury and death in all its forms.