Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, issued a statement criticizing President Barack Obama for not mentioning gun control during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
“How can President Obama tell us that ‘the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that all deserve the chance to be fulfilled,’ without talking about the gun violence that destroyed those dreams?” Helmke asked, referencing the 9-year-old girl killed in the massacre in Arizona earlier this month.
“It wasn’t the lack of innovation, education or investment, or too many regulations or too much debt that ended Christina’s life and her dreams - it was a clearly dangerous man who had way too easy access to a gun with a high capacity ammunition magazine - good only for killing many people quickly. We need the president to push for laws to reduce the gun violence that shattered Tucson, and Christina’s family, and that shatters the lives of more than 100,000 Americans every year.”
“President Obama tonight failed to ‘challenge old assumptions’ on the need for, and political possibilities of, reducing the gun violence - which he suggested should be done two weeks ago in Tucson. He failed to recognize the power of our laws to set us on a course to reduce gun violence. We are disappointed, but we’re also determined to continue our efforts to help make our nation safer by pushing to strengthen our gun laws.
“We need the president’s support now for changes in our laws to ban large capacity ammunition magazines, to tighten restrictions on who can legally purchase a gun, and to require effective background checks before these guns can be purchased.
“We’re calling on all Americans to contact the president and their members of Congress; tell them to stand up to the gun lobby and pass the common sense laws that will help keep us safer.”