CAP Statement on Gun Violence
STATEMENT: CAP Applauds the Passage of Gun Violence Prevention Measures in
the House and Urges the Senate To Follow Suit
Washington, D.C., March 11 — Today, lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives took another step
toward enacting the most meaningful gun violence prevention legislation in decades. A bipartisan coalition on
Thursday passed H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446, two bills that would, respectively, require background checks for private gun
sales between individuals and address the so-called “Charleston loophole,” significantly reducing the risk of gun
dealers selling firearms to individuals who have not passed a criminal background check.
Both pieces of legislation are important first steps toward curtailing the epidemic of gun violence in the United States.
In response to their passage, Chelsea Parsons, vice president for Gun Violence Prevention at the Center for American
Progress, issued the following statement:
Today’s votes reaffirm what the American people have known for some time: Gun violence prevention measures are
necessary and long overdue. The gaps in our existing gun laws are deadly, and leaving them unaddressed will only
cause further trauma and harm in communities that have already suffered immeasurably from gun violence. Elected
officials are duty-bound to keep their families, schools, and communities safe from deadly firearms, and each day
without meaningful action represents another 106 lives lost to a bullet—and hundreds more upended by injury and
Roughly 85,000 Americans have been killed with a gun since Republicans in the Senate refused to even schedule a
vote for this legislation in 2019, kowtowing to special interest groups and corporate allies at the expense of their own
constituents’ lives. Their refusal to act led, in part, to the deadliest year on record for gun deaths in 2020. We cannot
afford to wait another day, let alone another year, for lawmakers to prioritize American lives over the gun lobby. The
Senate must swiftly take up and pass these bills and send them to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.
CAP’s Winnie Stachelberg Condemns the Tragic Shootings in Georgia
March 17 -- Washington, D.C. — Last night, an armed gunman killed eight people and wounded several more at
multiple businesses in the metro Atlanta area. Six of the victims were Asian, and all but one of the victims were
women. In response, Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president for external affairs at the Center for American
Progress, issued the following statement:
While much is still unknown about what transpired in Atlanta yesterday, initial reporting points to three elements
that, at a minimum, warrant further investigation: the continued prevalence of gun violence, the rise in anti-Asian hate
crimes, and the increase in gender-based brutality, especially against women of color.
The past year has seen a troubling surge in violence against women, both domestically and around the world, as
many communities grapple with the effects of the global pandemic. What we know is that we need more resources—
from shelters to experienced counselors and health professionals as well as other support—on the ground to help
those who are most at risk. We must also confront head-on the reality that women of color are too often targets of
violence and dehumanized because of entrenched biases rooted in race, gender, and ethnic prejudice. We have an
obligation to unearth what happened here and act to ensure that women of color get the protection they deserve,
and that includes the long overdue reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
Hate crimes directed toward Asian Americans have skyrocketed in the past year, led in part by irresponsible
comments from the former president and his political allies, who have gone out of their way to falsely and maliciously
blame the COVID-19 pandemic on the Asian American community. Violent extremism overall has risen steadily and
unabated over the past decade. Tuesday’s horrific mass shooting in Georgia is a tragically predictable result of the
growing incitement to violence by individuals motivated by hate.
Unfortunately, firearms are used far too often to perpetrate hate-motivated violence. From 2010 to 2019, an
estimated 92,000 hate crimes involved the use of a gun. In addition to taking urgent action to address hate crimes in
this country, we need action to address deadly gaps in our nation’s gun laws that allow violent extremists to have
easy access to guns.
Law enforcement must deploy all the tools at their disposal to conduct the investigation thoroughly and with these
three concerns in mind, as well as with the cultural sensitivity and awareness necessary to garner the trust and
confidence of the community.