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A Message from the President of Americans Against Gun Violence

13 Days Later: A Tale of Two Countries

I’d like to share with you a true story of two countries and how they reacted in the 13 days following the worst mass shootings in their nations’ histories.

Following the worst mass shooting in Australian history in 1996, committed by a lone gunman who killed 39 people and wounded at least 19 others using a semi-automatic rifle, it took the government just 13 days to decide to ban all semi-automatic rifles and melt them down. There have been no further mass shootings in Australia since the ban was enacted.

At the time of this writing, it’s been 13 days since the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, committed by a lone gunman who killed 58 people and wounded hundreds of others using semi-automatic rifles. Brief consideration was given to banning “bump stocks,” devices that allowed the gunman to fire semi-automatic rifles almost as rapidly as fully automatic ones, but the idea was dropped, and no other new gun control legislation has been introduced.

The moral of this story should be obvious....

Read the full message

Preventing Firearm Related Deaths and Injuries in the United States of America
Mission Statement of Americans Against Gun Violence

Firearm related deaths and injuries are a serious public health problem in the United States of America, and the rate of gun violence in the USA is much higher than in all other economically advanced democratic countries. It is the position of Americans Against Gun Violence that we have not only the ability, but also the moral responsibility, to reduce rates of firearm related deaths and injuries in our country to levels that are at or below those in the other high income democratic countries of the world.

We support incremental steps toward reducing gun violence in the United States such as expanding background checks and banning assault weapons. On the other hand, we believe that it is critically important to make the American people aware that in order to reduce rates of firearm related deaths and injuries in the United States to levels comparable to those in other economically advanced democratic countries, we must adopt comparable gun control laws. Such laws include stringent regulations, if not complete bans, on civilian ownership of all handguns and semi-automatic rifles. In order to stringently regulate or ban handguns, the Supreme Court's radical reinterpretation of the Second Amendment in the 2008 Heller decision must be overturned. We further believe that stringent regulation of civilian firearm ownership should be accompanied by stringent regulation of the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers.

In addition to educating the American people regarding the need for the adoption of definitive gun control laws, it is our mission to debunk the myths promoted by the gun industry and its associated lobby, including the myth that honest, law-abiding people should own or carry guns “for protection;” that the Second Amendment was intended to confer an individual right to own guns; and, the most pernicious myth of all - that the gun lobby is more powerful than the rest of the American people.

We are confident that one day, the United States will adopt stringent gun control laws comparable to those already in place in every other high income democratic country of the world. The only question is how many more Americans will die needlessly of gunshot wounds before that day arrives. It is our mission to work to make that day come sooner rather than later.