The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

VPC Press Office, 202-822-8200 x109,

Violence Policy Center Statement on Sutherland Springs Mass Shooting


In response to the assault weapon attack at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, that left 26 churchgoers dead and more than 20 wounded in the deadliest mass shooting in modern Texas history, Violence Policy Center Executive Director Josh Sugarmann issued the following statement:

"Our nation mourns the loss of life in Sutherland Springs and the impact of gun violence on yet another community and its residents. And while we're still learning the facts of this horrific event, we already know the common thread that allows such killers to take so many lives in such a brief period of time: the combination of a semiautomatic firearm with the ability to accept a detachable high-capacity ammunition magazine like the Ruger AR-15-style assault rifle reportedly used in this most recent attack. Besides the gun industry's bottom line, there is no reason to allow the continued sale of military bred assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. The answer to gun violence is not more guns, but to recognize that as long as we allow civilian access to these weapons of war horrific attacks like Sutherland Springs will continue to threaten our public life and define our nation."

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."