The horror of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut is beyond comprehension. Twenty children, their teachers and aides, their school principal, shot repeatedly by a 20-year-old wielding a semiautomatic assault weapon. This follows the recent movie theater attack in Aurora, Colorado and multiple college campus and high school shootings over the past years. And daily in major cities like Chicago, the trauma builds. This year as of Dec. 10, Chicago has witnessed 485 killed in gun violence, 125 under the age of 18
In the U.S., 30,000 people are killed and 100,000 are injured each year by shootings. One million Americans have been killed by gunfire since Dr. King’s assassination.
Legislators are afraid to act because the gun lobby is well funded, and this country is saturated in guns. As of 2009, there were an estimated 310 million non-military firearms owned in America. There are 129,817 federally licensed firearms dealers, 51,438 of which are retail gun stores. That compares with 10,787 Starbucks stores, and 143,839 gas stations across the country. And that doesn’t count gun shows. About 40 percent of guns are sold in unlicensed private sales.
So if action is to take place, Americans in large numbers must make their voices heard.
We urge every governor, state legislator, mayor, city council member and member of Congress to support legislation that will revive the ban on the sale and distribution of assault weapons to ordinary citizens.
Sign our petition to Congress and then personally contact your congressperson, senators and state and local officials and tell them to take action now to end the violence.