News Release

Perspectives on Virginia Shooting


Author of the book “Kids & Guns:” How Politicians, Experts, and the Press Fabricate Fear of Youth, Males said today: “Mass shootings are common in the United States — we’ve had several in recent months in offices, and almost weekly in families. I cannot find another country where mass shootings are so common outside of war or revolution, regardless of their other characteristics.”
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A founding member of the International Action Network on Small Arms, Moser-Puangsuwan said today: “Other Western countries like Australia and the UK have one mass shooting, then institute policies on guns and don’t have a repeat. In the U.S., it happens again and again.”
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Johnson has worked as a CIA intelligence analyst and State Department counter-terrorism official. He noted in a recent blog entry titled “Now Do You Understand?” that “This is horrible and this is tragic and this gives us an idea of what it is like to live just one day in Iraq.”
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Director of the Shalom Center, Waskow has written 20 books, most recently co-authoring The Tent of Abraham: Stories of Hope and Peace for Jews, Christians, and Muslims. He said today: “All America is in shock and tears — and should be — over the murder of 33 students at Virginia Tech.

“How much of America is in shock and tears at the report from Afghanistan that U.S. marines used ‘excessive force’ last month, in a machine-gun rampage that covered 10 miles of highway and left 12 civilians dead, including an infant and three elderly men? …

“We have a government of old men who turn guns and bombs into Idols for the worship of their own power. Is it surprising when young men in Afghanistan or Virginia use such guns to worship their own power?

“Certainly these killers bear personal responsibility for their actions. Whatever nightmares, fears, and rage haunted the Virginia or the Afghanistan killers are not excuses for their murders. Neither is the official arrogance that for no legitimate reason sent armies to shatter Iraq, or the official arrogance that turns ownership of assault weapons into a Constitutional right.

“If the president is serious about being horrified by the Virginia killings, let him NOW, TODAY, ask Congress to outlaw assault weapons and announce NOW, TODAY, the beginning with commitment to a swift completion for bringing safely home U.S. soldiers from the U.S. occupation of Iraq — an occupation as criminal, and as rooted in the worship of violence, as the murders in Virginia.”
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Currently in Chicago, Yearwood is president of the Hip Hop Caucus, which is organizing the “Make Hip Hop Not War” National Tour. He said today: “My heart goes out to every person who is suffering the loss of a loved one in the shootings that occurred on the Virginia Tech campus. This is a deeply tragic moment for our country. Before becoming the president of the Hip Hop Caucus, I was the executive director of Students Against Violence, which was primarily dedicated to dealing with the aftermath of the Columbine shootings. Eight years after Columbine we have failed to find meaningful ways to address violence in this country. It is time for America to talk about peace — peace at home and peace abroad. The same way students were killed yesterday in their classrooms in Blacksburg, Iraqi students are being killed in their schools and in their homes in Baghdad.

“President Bush offered profound words in response to news of the tragedy on the Virginia Tech campus. He said that schools should be places of safety, sanctuary and learning. Well, his words must be put in the context of his war in Iraq. Death is death, murder is murder and the pain of loss hurts us all the same.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167