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Rev. Jesse Jackson Continues the Call for Common Sense Gun Laws

April 5, 2009

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., president and founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, issued the following statement after the recent shootings in Binghamton, NY and Pittsburgh, PA.

"Fifty-three lives have been lost in the United States in the last month due to mass shootings. On Friday 13 lives were lost in Binghamton, New York. Yesterday three police officers were shot dead as they responded to a domestic disturbance call at a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home.

This is domestic terrorism. Our own police officers are unable to protect themselves or the public against the threat of semi automatic weapons.

recent mass killings contribute to the 30,000 people a year who die as a result of gun violence in the United States. One hundred thousand a year are injured, requiring medical treatment and hospitalization that contributes to our crisis in public health. None of us are safe until all of us are safe.

We appeal to President Barack Obama and the Congress to revive the ban on assault weapons. Under a federal ban from 1994 to 2004 there was a 60% drop in assault weapons deaths. We have the power to stop putting dangerous weapons in the hands of dangerous persons, if we create and implement concrete gun laws. We need to enforce universal background checks on every gun transfer and prohibit all violent criminals from possessing firearms.

Our prayers are with the families and friends of those whose lives have been threatened by these senseless acts of gun violence. And now we must turn this pain into power, enact needed measures to stem the tide of gun violence, and make America safer for all of our people."

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization devoted to protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic and educational opportunity. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. To learn more, please visit www.rainbowpush.org or call (773) 373-3366. To arrange an interview with Rev. Jackson, please call the numbers listed above. -30-