Press Release

 

For Release: May 12, 2000
Contact: David Almasi at 202/543-4110 x106 or [email protected]


"Million Moms" Marching for Wrong Reason

Black Network Seeks Better Law Enforcement, Not New Gun Laws


Crime control ought to be the message of the upcoming Million Mom March in Washington - not gun control. Members of the African-American leadership network Project 21 demand the government enforce existing laws against gun violence before considering new regulations to further restrict the ability of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves.

Organizers of the Million Mom March claim "our children's lives far outweigh the right for just anyone, especially juveniles, to carry a [gun]." They are pushing further restrictions on the Second Amendment freedom to own guns like mandatory licensing and trigger locks. Despite their alarmist descriptions of an epidemic abuse of guns leading to an overwhelming number of child deaths, government statistics show that fatal accidents involving guns are at an all-time low. In 1996, only 0.3% of child deaths involved gun accidents, far less than cars, choking, fires and drowning.

Anti-gun groups deceptively count youths up to age 19 as children because a large number of the gun-related deaths in this expanded description - 85%, mostly homicides and suicides - occur in the 15-19 age range. They also often exclude infants under one year who are almost never killed by guns.

"While their intentions may seem noble, their focus is off-base and out-of-touch with the mainstream," said Project 21 member Tara Wall. "Once again, they're missing the point. Instead of focusing on more government intrusion and finger-pointing, they should be putting their energy into enforcement and parental responsibility."

There are already over 20,000 gun-related laws in the United States. Existing laws should have prevented former Black Panther Jamil Al-Amin from possessing the gun he is now charged with using to kill two Atlanta police officers. Existing laws are only now being used to prosecute the uncle of the first-grader in Michigan who used a gun he found in his uncle's home to kill a classmate. Existing laws need to be enforced before new ones prevent responsible citizens from using guns an estimated 2.5 million times a year for legitimate defensive purposes.

"While we, as women, have the natural inclination to protect children, we also want our rights protected. We want the right to protect our families," said Wall. "How many caring, law-abiding gun owners do you see flagrantly leaving guns around for children to happen upon? Not many, and the statistics prove it. As for the careless adults who do, we already have laws to punish them. I'm not convinced a crack cocaine dealer or someone on a shooting rampage would take the time to put a trigger lock on a gun. Do these 'million moms' think so?"

Project 21 has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x106 or [email protected], or visit Project 21's website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.

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