Stop Handgun Violence Response to Tree of Life Synagogue Mass Shooting

Boston, MA – Yesterday, a domestic terrorist opened fire on an infant’s naming ceremony at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The all too common massacre is the 294th mass shooting this year and this time, left eleven dead and a six injured, including four police officers who were outgunned by the shooter with multiple high-powered firearms.

Pennsylvania does not require criminal background checks for private gun sales or restrict the sale or possession of military style assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines. Consequently, Pennsylvania’s gun death rate is 11.87 per 100,000 population compared to urban Massachusetts with 3.42 and a national average of 11.96.

“While the details of this yet another horrific massacre continue to emerge, our hearts and thoughts are with victims of this attack and the Pittsburgh community” said John Rosenthal, founder and chairman of Stop Handgun Violence. “The shooter’s motives are clear and one thing is blatantly obvious: The combination of unrestricted access to high powered firearms and the growing culture of hate, have deadly results. When lax state and federal gun policies allow a civilian shooter to access military style assault weapons designed to kill as many people as possible without reloading. A shooter can outgun police and the results are abhorrent, but should come as no surprise. The federal government and most state legislatures unconscionable priority of unregulated and unrestricted access to deadly firearms over human lives has disastrous consequences. Over 90 Americans die, 250 are injured and there is a mass shooting of at least four or more people every day in America. No other developed Country has this problem and the daily massacres won’t stop until Congress enacts federal gun safety policies like those that have proven to work in Massachusetts.”