MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION DAMPENED BY CONCERNS ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE
Posted by Press Release Distribution Staff
Washington, D.C. - Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, issued the following statement regarding Mexican Independence Day, celebrations for which begin at midnight tonight:
“The 200th anniversary of Mexican Independence should be a time for Mexicans to express their joy and pride over their many accomplishments,” said Helmke. “But the gun violence that plagues so many cities and towns has dampened the celebratory spirit. Some towns, such as Ciudad Juárez, which is just across the border from El Paso and has suffered the most bloodshed, have even jettisoned fireworks out of concerns over gun violence.
“The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence shares the dismay of the Mexican people and their government over the escalating gun violence driven by the drug cartels,” said Helmke. “We, again, call on elected officials in the United States help save Mexican lives by pushing for the passage of laws to restrict assault weapons and close the ‘gun show loophole’ by requiring Brady criminal background checks for all gun purchases at gun shows. ”
As President Felipe Calderon told the U.S. Congress, violence in Mexico has increased since Congress allowed the federal assault weapons ban to expire in 2004. A study just released by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars specifically cites the “gun show loophole” as one of the weaknesses in American law that facilitates trafficking to Mexico. The authors point out that, "ATF officials have said a good time to catch firearm smugglers is right after a U.S. gun show in Arizona or Texas.”
A blog by Helmke about the disconnect between White House policies and actions on Mexico and America’s relationship to the growing gun violence was posted yesterday the Brady Campaign’s website http://blog.bradycampaign.org/?p=2705 and the Huffington Post <||>rnhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-helmke/white-house-talk-on-mexic_b_716076.html
As the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence, the Brady Campaign, with its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, works to enact and enforce sensible gun laws, regulations and public policies. The Brady Campaign is devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.
Visit the Brady Campaign website at www.bradycampaign.org. For continuing insight and comment on the gun issue, read Paul Helmke's blog at www.bradycampaign.org/blog/.
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