|STATEMENT OF CSGV ON TUCSON SHOOTING RAMPAGE|
|Washington, DC-Those of us at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence are deeply dismayed at the horrific shooting rampage that occurred in Tucson this weekend. Our thoughts and prayers-and the thoughts and prayers of all our member organizations-are with the victims and survivors of this terrible tragedy. We hope for a full recovery for all of those who lie wounded today.
Sadly, Saturday s tragedy was both predictable and inevitable. Insurrectionist rhetoric-which posits that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to take violent action when they believe that our government has become tyrannical -was once confined to the dark corners of gun shows and the Internet. In today s America, however, it has become a mainstream idea that is widely promoted by movement conservatives, high-profile media figures, and even elected officials and candidates. Tucson was not unique-since the conservative wing of the Supreme Court embraced the insurrectionist idea in the D.C. v. Heller decision in 2008, there have been numerous threats and acts of violence against government officials.
Additionally, America s weak gun laws continue to allow individuals who are obviously deranged to legally purchase semiautomatic firearms with high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Jared Lee Loughner s history of mental illness, substance abuse and violent threats was well-known to law enforcement, the U.S. Army and his educators at Pima Community College. None of this, however, was detected by an instant, computerized background check that takes just a few minutes and involves no actual investigation of the gun purchasers.
If we are to avoid future massacres, our elected officials must institute policies that prioritize public safety and human life over gun industry profits. And they must speak out in no uncertain terms against poisonous insurrectionist ideology that threatens the integrity of our democracy itself.
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy.