ANTI-GUN VIOLENCE ACTIVISTS SUPPORT COMMUNITIES AFFECTED BY IMMIGRATION BAN; DECLARE THAT DOMESTIC GUN VIOLENCE KILLS FAR MORE THAN FOREIGN TERROR
NEW YORK, NY (Feb. 3, 2017)—On Saturday, Feb. 4, at 2 p.m., members of Gays Against Guns (GAG) will join a rally with over fifty other immigrant, Muslim, Latinx, and LGBT groups as they speak out against the recent executive order mandating a three-month ban on immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from seven Muslim majority countries.
“Trump, Bannon, and their cronies think putting a blanket ban on Muslims entering America will solve our terrorism problem, when in reality each year many more Americans lose their lives to gun violence committed by other Americans than they do to acts of foreign terrorism,” said GAG member Mari Gustafson. “GAG is here today to say loudly, ‘Gun violence is domestic terrorism.”
Brandishing large signs that say “The Gunman at Pulse was American” and “Gun Violence is Domestic Terrorism,” GAG is calling attention to the glaring fact that from 2005 to 2015, jihadists killed 94 people in the United States, while gun violence killed over 300,000.
“The fear associated with terrorist attacks is very potent and a demagogue like Trump with strong ties to the National Rifle Association (NRA) will capitalize on that fear to gain political power,” said GAG member Terry Roethlein. He noted that Trump, who received $30 million in campaign funds from the NRA, not only ignores the gun violence problem in the United States, but actively supports legislation that will make the problem worse.
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which was introduced in the House of Representatives on January 3 and is supported by Trump, would require any state that issues permits for concealed weapons to recognize such permits issued by other states, even if they have different eligibility and training requirements or less stringent restrictions on gun ownership.
GAG is speaking out against reciprocity because “The NRA’s Guns Everywhere bill will mean more gun violence and more gun deaths,” said Roethlein. “We need to strengthen our already weak federal gun control laws, not pass a law that will bar states from enforcing their own gun control laws.”
Founded in June 2016 after a mass shooting in an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando that left 49 people dead, GAG believes that gun violence is a public health issue that disproportionately affects people of color, religious minorities, and LGBTQ Americans. It has chapters in New York, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Washington, DC. Each year, 33,000 people die in the United States from gun violence, with one-third due to homicide and two-thirds due to suicide.