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MARCH 5, 2001
5:21 PM
CONTACT:  Violence Policy Center
Naomi Seligman 202-822-8200, x105
Santana High School Shooting Latest Proof Of Need For Handgun Ban
WASHINGTON - March 5 - Today's handgun shooting at the Santana High School in Santee, Calif., is the latest incident starkly illustrating the need for a ban on the most deadly category of firearms -- the easily concealable handgun -- the Violence Policy Center (VPC) stated today. The VPC is a national organization working to reduce gun death and injury in America.

The Santana High School shooting follows last month's shootings, outside the White House and at a Navistar engine assembly plant in Melrose Park, Ill. Earlier this year caches of weapons held by college and high school students planning copycat shootings similar to the 1999 Columbine massacre were found by law enforcement officials in California and Kansas. In 1998, there were 2,887 children and young adults, aged 18 and under, killed by firearms in the U.S.

Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center and author of the new book Every Handgun is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns (The New Press/March 2001) states, "The single bloody thread that runs through these incidents is the easy accessibility we allow our citizens to the most lethal categories of firearms, such as handguns. After these shootings a predictable pattern emerges, we quickly look for a loophole to be plugged, a limited law that could be better enforced, or other `common sense' solutions, while never stepping back to look at the big picture: the freeflow of guns in our nation. America's gun violence problem will not be solved by licensing and registration, trigger locks, or lamentations over the evil in men's hearts. These tragic shootings are America's future until we eliminate handguns, the tools that make such violence possible."

The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational organization working to reduce gun death and injury in America. For more information on the VPC and firearms violence issues, visit the VPC's Web site at


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