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In Wake of Colorado Tragedy, Coalition for Peace Action Calls for Reinstatement of Assault Weapons Ban

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims and their families and we extend our condolences following the massacre at the Aurora Theater in Aurora, Colorado.  Ceasefire NJ is deeply saddened that once again a massacre has occurred in the United States, with 12 lives senselessly taken by gun violence and another 38 people wounded.  Unfortunately, however, mass shootings such as this tragedy in Aurora are not surprising because of the ease of access to guns, especially assault weapons, which have no place in the hands of private citizens.

According to recent coverage, the suspect in today’s shooting used an “AK-type” assault weapon which is a military-style weapon designed to featuring high-capacity ammunition magazines capable of firing up to 30 rounds of ammunition without reloading. These are NOT weapons designed for hunting, nor for individual protection; they are designed for combat.

While there is naturally going to be a lot of focus on the suspect now that he has been identified, it would be irresponsible to only blame him as a disturbed individual but seek no change in our attitudes, policies and laws regarding guns and their availability to such individuals.

New Jersey is fortunate to have some of the strongest gun prevention laws in the nation, including a statewide ban on assault weapons. Tragedies like today’s massacre remind us that it is crucial for every citizen to call on Congress and President Barack Obama to permanently reinstate the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which was allowed to “sunset” in 2004 after being in effect for ten years.

Concerned citizens are urged to contact Ceasefire NJ (www.peacecoalition.org or 609-924-5022) or similar organizations to support reinstating the Assault Weapons Ban and similar common sense gun violence prevention measures.

Sincerely,

Ceasefire NJ

Ceasefire NJ is a project of the Coalition for Peace Action.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

  • Joe

    The reason the previous assault weapons ban sunsetted was because it was proven to be totally ineffective. Ironic that the states and cities within the US, that have the most restrictive gun laws, more often than not have the higest gun related crime in the country / world. Show us some facts that corelate tougher guns laws with a reduction in overall homicides, be it by gun, or any other weapon. Remember the sarin gas attack on a commuter train in Tokyo, Japan? I believe that was illegal too, obviously. The point in this article that “AK” style weapons (actually this was an AR-15 platform, but obviously knowledge of guns is absent from this article) should be banned would have done nothing to prevent this killing, which your website is politicizing. A more effective topic would be how having armed citizens in that theater could have stopped this killer cold. Armor or not, 300+ ft pounds of energy to his chest would have effectively eliminated the threat. If society cannot keep lunatics from killing people, be it with guns, gas or other means, the citizens certainly have the right, and obligation to defend themselves, family and others from them. The cops will fill out the paperwork after the fact. Our rights to self defense trump your paranoia that 1 of the more than 300,000,000 guns in the US may at some point be used by a criminal. The Brady movement is dead, with membership/ support etc at all time lows. Gun crime in the US has gone down year after year for almost 20 years now. Let’s talk about why that is… and do more of THAT vs. passing new laws which are completely ineffective in stemming the violence of individual nut bags and serve to primairly curtail my consitutional right to self-defense.

  • Blake

    Does it occur to anyone that this young Ph. D. candidate was not interested with following the law? See, people who take lives aren’t really interested in whether or not their weapons are banned or if they jaywalk to their killing field.

    Assault weapon bans do nothing to stop crime. It’s not specific guns that are the problem, it’s specific people. This guy had several weapons that are illegal in addition to the illegal explosives in his apartment. He didn’t care about breaking the law.

  • jeremy

    When will you leftist realize that no gun laws will EVER deter a criminal or psychopath from getting guns. What we need are MORE armed citizens. A well armed society is a polite society! Do thorough background tests then let more people carry concealed weapons. If a good, honest citizen had been allowed to carry a weapon MAYBE one or two people would have been shot before he was dropped. All your communist gun laws do is prevent people from defending themselves from deranged gunman and criminals.
    The second amendment is cut and dry. The right to keep and bier arms shall not be fringed upon. The founding fathers wanted us to be able to protect ourselves as well as a tyrannical out of control government. People but assault weapons largely because they feel this government has potential to one day turn into a Marxist style oppressor. Whether or not these fears are founded or not it is their right to protect themselves from both criminals and the government. That was the original meaning for the second amendment and those fears remain today. The reason the founding fathers wanted a very well armed society was to keep the government in check.
    So what happeneds when you ban all guns (which is the true agenda of the left)? Will criminals who already buy their guns illegally miraculously stop being criminals? Oh the police will protect us! Face reality the police show up AFTER the crime has been committed and try to figure out what happened and who to hold accountable. As much as it spins a liberals head to think of something other than their own agenda (I am constantly amazed that liberals preach open mindedness and tolerance, yet label ANYONE who doesn’t think like they do a racist or bigot and refuse to ever consider another view) what we need are more GOOD people carrying guns that they are trained to use! That’s the only way to realistically stop gun violence. Will a criminal rob a bank or other business if he KNOWS there is a real probability that at least a few people in that bank or business are ARMED…NO.

  • jeremy

    When will you leftist realize that no gun laws will EVER deter a criminal or psychopath from getting guns. What we need are MORE armed citizens. A well armed society is a polite society! Do thorough background tests then let more people carry concealed weapons. If a good, honest citizen had been allowed to carry a weapon MAYBE one or two people would have been shot before he was dropped. All your communist gun laws do is prevent people from defending themselves from deranged gunman and criminals.

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