Speakers Call on U.S. Senate to Pass Assault Weapons Ban
Washington, D.C., December 14, 2022 - Survivors and gun violence prevention activists will gather outside the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) headquarters today in Fairfax, Va. to mark the 10th anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The protests outside the NRA headquarters have occurred on the 14th of each month since the Sandy Hook mass shooting, with Wednesday’s event marking the 120th consecutive monthly protest. Speakers at the event, including survivors and activists across several gun violence prevention groups, will share their stories of gun violence and will urge the U.S. Senate to pass a national assault weapons ban before the end of the current session. The event comes in the wake of this year’s mass shootings in Uvalde, TX; Highland Park, IL; and Buffalo, NY; where assault weapons were used in all three attacks.
Speakers include Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw; Jackson Mittleman of Newtown Action Alliance; Alice Englert and Daniel Jackson (relatives of Sandy Hook victim Daniel Barden); Dr. Joseph Sakran, Brady Board Member and founder of @ThisIsOurLane; and Pat Maisch, the hero of the Gabby Giffords shooting.
Martina Leinz, president of the Northern Virginia Chapter of Brady and protest organizer, shared:
“Ten years ago today, lives were shattered and childhoods lost in a senseless massacre at Sandy Hook. This is the America that the gun lobby built; not the one we want to live in. Ten years later, I am still standing with advocates and survivors alike in holding the NRA accountable and fighting for lasting, life-saving policy solutions.
“We need a safer America for our kids - an end to gun violence - and that starts with a national assault weapons ban. The inability by our elected officials to stand up to the gun lobby is unacceptable.”
Aalayah Eastmond, co-founder and National Administrator & Executive Council Organizer of Team ENOUGH, Brady’s youth-led gun violence prevention program, shared:
“We do not want the next generation of Americans to grow up in a country where politicians are bought and sold by the NRA while their children and friends are killed by gun violence. We must change the course of gun violence in America.
“Time and time again our policymakers have failed to take action after innocent people, including children, are slaughtered by weapons of war. It’s time to honor the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting and pass an assault weapons ban now.”
What Are Assault Weapons?
An “assault weapon” refers to a semi-automatic gun designed for military use and quick, efficient killing. Assault weapons are uniquely lethal because of their rapid rate of fire and high muzzle velocity — coupled with high-capacity magazines, which attach to an assault weapon to allow dozens of gunshots without needing to reload. A high-capacity magazine is typically defined as any magazine or drum that is capable of holding more than either 10 or 15 rounds of ammunition.
Military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines exist only to enact maximum destruction, and there is simply no reason that everyday Americans need access to them.
In shootings where assault weapons or high-capacity magazines are used, 155% more people are shot, and 47% more people are killed.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.