The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Avery Palmer, 202-822-8200 x104,

Violence Policy Center Statement on the Second Anniversary of Newtown Shooting


Violence Policy Center Executive Director Josh Sugarmann, a native of Newtown, Connecticut, made the following statement in advance of the two-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14, 2012:

"Two years ago this Sunday, 20 children and six educators were brutally gunned down in Newtown, Connecticut, the town where I grew up. In the past two years, it's become clear to anyone paying attention that we are facing a public health emergency. Nearly four people in America die from gun violence every 15 minutes, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. High-profile shootings are taking place with numbing regularity in schools, restaurants, college campuses, big box retail stores, and virtually any other public area we used to consider safe.

"Since that terrible day, I have of course been frustrated by the slow pace of change, but also very encouraged by the real progress and dedicated grassroots activism across the country. A resurgent gun violence prevention movement, including both new organizations and established ones, is more active and energized than ever. Together, we are standing up to the NRA and fighting every day to protect human lives and public safety. No matter how long it takes, we are not going away."

The Violence Policy Center (VPC) works to stop gun death and injury through research, education, advocacy, and collaboration. Founded in 1988 by Executive Director Josh Sugarmann, a native of Newtown, Connecticut, the VPC informs the public about the impact of gun violence on their daily lives, exposes the profit-driven marketing and lobbying activities of the firearms industry and gun lobby, offers unique technical expertise to policymakers, organizations, and advocates on the federal, state, and local levels, and works for policy changes that save lives. The VPC has a long and proven record of policy successes on the federal, state, and local levels, leading the National Rifle Association to acknowledge us as "the most effective ... anti-gun rabble-rouser in Washington."