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