A Message from the President of Americans Against Gun Violence

The Elephant in the Dugout

During the mass shooting on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia on June 14, 2017, about 20 Republican members of Congress and their staffers hid in the first base dugout while their colleague, Representative Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana), lay critically wounded on the field near second base. In interviews immediately following the shooting, several congressmen who had been hiding in the dugout spoke of their fear that if it had not been for the presence of three armed Capitol Police officers, the gunman might have entered the dugout and killed them all. But no one mentioned gun control.

One would think that at least some of the congressmen would have seen the elephant in the dugout with them – the need for stringent gun control laws in our country comparable to the laws that have long been in place in every other high income democratic country of the world – countries in which mass shootings are rare or non-existent and in which overall rates of gun violence are much lower than in the USA. But if anyone saw the elephant, no one was willing to talk about it....

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.