- 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
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 http://www.vpc.org.