|CSGV STATEMENT ON MASS SHOOTING AT SIKH TEMPLE IN OAK CREEK, WISCONSIN|
|Washington, DC-Our hearts are heavy today as we join the nation in mourning the six innocent Americans who were killed yesterday at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. But thoughts and prayers are no longer enough in an America that experiences one mass shooting tragedy after another. For those who are in a position to take action that would save lives, it is immoral to share condolences and then immediately abdicate any responsibility to fight for the reforms that would prevent the next massacre. It s time for all people of conscience to send a clear and loud message to their elected officials: Restore sanity to the screening system for gun buyers in this country, or we will vote you out of office.
The gunman in Oak Creek, 40 year-old neo-Nazi Wade Michael Page, had much in common with other recent mass shooters. He used a semiautomatic firearm with high-capacity ammunition magazines. And he was able to purchase his guns and ammo legally despite a personal history replete with red flags. Page was an Army veteran who had been discharged under less than honorable conditions. He had a criminal history. Most importantly, Page had been publicly involved in the White Power movement since 2000. He was known to both federal law enforcement authorities and also anti-hate watch groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center. And this is just what we know after a few hours.
This country deserves a firearm policy that prevents military-style hardware from falling into the hands of dangerous and deranged individuals. Our daily experience with gruesome violence is not inevitable. Let s be clear: The repeated nature of these events is the direct result of the poor policy choices made by our elected leaders. Americans can solve big problems when they set their minds to it. Today is the day to start making these changes. We ask every American to call their elected representatives today and demand immediate reform. It s long past time to stand up to the National Rifle Association and say, Enough.
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy.