For Immediate Release
CODEPINK Coalition Stages Die-In at NRA Headquarters
16 Arrested for Civil Disobedience in Wake of Senate’s Complete Failure to Pass ANY Gun Control Bill Days After Largest Mass Shooting in U.S. History
WASHINGTON - In response to the gun murder of 49 people in Orlando and decades of National Rifle Association (NRA) lobbying for gun laws that enable the epidemic of mass shootings currently ongoing in the United States, dozens of people ended an overnight vigil with a “die-in” in front of NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia this morning. Sixteen of the protesters were arrested in an action designed to confront NRA lobbyists on their home turf and force them to come face-to-face with the massive death toll caused by decades of their relentless pressure on government officials to put military-grade weapons in the hands of civilians.
“Yesterday the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to two state-level assault weapons bans, indicating that they find nothing in the Second Amendment to prevent barring private ownership of weapons of war,” said Alli McCracken, National Director of CODEPINK: Women for Peace. “President Obama has indicated that he would sign an assault weapons ban into law. All that is needed is for Congress to act. Yet last night, just days after the deadliest and most devastating mass shooting in U.S. history, Congress once again proved that they – either enthralled by NRA campaign donations or intimidated by NRA lobbying pressure – are completely unwilling to do anything to protect the lives of tens of thousands of people killed by guns in this country every year.”
“Make no mistake, the bills up for consideration last night in the Senate fall far short of the assault weapons ban we called for overnight and this morning,” said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK. “But even as the bodies in Orlando wait to be buried and the country is still in mourning, Congress can’t even pass mild, common sense gun control legislation like universal background checks that are supported by vast majorities of Americans including more than 4 out of 5 gun owners. The stranglehold that the NRA has on our elected officials is breathtaking and its effects are devastating to our families and communities. The NRA has the blood of hundreds of thousands on their hands and that is why we were here in defiant protest this morning.”
In recent decades, the NRA has a history of opposing any and all gun control legislation and viciously targeting politicians and elected officials who support even the most moderate of measures to tighten gun laws. More than 30,000 people are killed by guns each year in the United States, with gun violence recently surpassing car accidents as the leading cause of death in Americans 15 - 24.
Photos from the overnight vigil and morning action are available here: http://www.codepink.org/nra_media_roundup
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CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects foreign policies based on domination and aggression, and instead calls for policies based on diplomacy, compassion and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.