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July 22, 2012

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition Holds Prayer Vigils Against Gun Violence at Movie Theaters

In the wake of the most tragic mass shooting in American history at the midnight showing of the Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Minister’s Division led prayer vigils across the nation Sunday, July 22, 2012 outside movie theaters calling for the restoration of the ban on assault weapons.

"We would hope our leadership will go beyond prayers and condolences to a change in policy," said Rev. Jackson. “Congress should enact a comprehensive federal assault weapons ban modeled after the California assault weapons ban. The California law banned assault weapons based on a “one-feature test” that requires a firearm to have only one military-style feature in order to be banned. The Brady Campaign was instrumental in helping to enact and implement the California law in 2000.

The vigils were held in El Paso, Texas, Boston, Massachusetts, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, San Francisco, California, Detroit, Michigan, Birmingham, Alabama, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

"He had a 100-round clip in that gun," said Jennifer Bishop Jenkins of Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, referring to the accused gunman, James Holmes. "He did not even have to stop until he had 100 bullets off."

What took place in Colorado is a pattern, not just an incident. Gun violence impacts society in countless ways: medical costs, costs of the criminal justice system, security precautions such as metal detectors, and reductions in quality of life because of fear of gun violence. These impacts are estimated to cost U.S. citizens $100 billion annually. U.S. lifetime medical costs for gunshot injuries total an estimated $2.3 billion. That's over $6 million dollars a day. U.S. taxpayers also end up paying for almost half ($1.1 billion or 49 percent) of lifetime medical costs for gunshot injuries. And gunshot injuries due to assaults account for 74% of total lifetime medical costs.