PSR/Sacramento Responds to Orlando Mass Shooting
Sacramento, CA--The Sacramento Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility is saddened and outraged by yet another mass shooting in our country. According to initial reports, a single gunman, armed with a semi-automatic handgun and a semi-automatic rifle that he purchased legally under lax US firearm regulations, killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 50 others in an Orlando, Florida nightclub early this morning. The shooter may or may not have had links to terrorist organizations, but this point is moot for the victims and their families, for whom the tragic outcome is the same either way.
On November 14, 2015, following the Paris terrorist attack, PSR/Sacramento issued a press release, in which we stated:
If we Americans are seriously concerned about preventing the type of terrorist attacks that occurred in Paris yesterday evening, as well as preventing the mass shootings that are committed on a regular basis in the USA by individuals without links to terrorist organizations, we should act swiftly to ban the manufacture, importation, sale, and possession of rapid fire semi-automatic firearms.
The San Bernardino mass shooting on December 2, 2015, in which 14 people were killed and 22 were injured, and the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, early this morning, demonstrate the truth of that statement.
President Obama issued a statement today concerning the Orlando mass shooting in which he said:
This morning I spoke with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and conveyed the condolences of the entire American people.
In his statement, however, President Obama did not call for any new gun control laws.
We believe that President Obama and other US elected leaders should heed the words of Senator Thomas Dodd, who said in a press release and a speech on the floor of the US Senate almost 50 years ago, in 1968:
Pious condolences will no longer suffice….Quarter measures and half measures will no longer suffice….The time has now come that we must enact stringent gun control legislation comparable to the legislation in force in virtually every civilized country in the world.
It is PSR/Sacramento's position that there is no legitimate civilian use for rapid fire semi-automatic firearms, whether they be handguns or rifles, and that civlian ownership of such weapons should be stringently regulated, if not completely banned, with no grandfather clause for weapons already in circulation. Such regulations are already in place in every other high income democratic country in the world. Mass shootings are rare or non-existant in all of these other countries, and all of them have much lower rates of day to day firearm related deaths and injuries than in the USA.
It is also PSR/Sacramento's position that the 2008 Heller Decision, which has been called "an abomination" by legal scholars, should be overturned. In the Heller decision, a narrow 5 to 4 majority of Supreme Court Justices reversed over two centuries of legal precedent, including Supreme Court decisions in 1939 and 1980, in ruling that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to own a handgun outside of service in a well-regulated militia.
For more information regarding PSR/Sacramento's position on firearm injury prevention, please visit the "Our Work" pages of the PSR/Sacramento website at www.sacpsr.org.