Few of us will ever forget December 14, 2012. It’s been nearly a year since the massacre of 20 innocent children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. That unbearable tragedy sent ripples of outrage and grief throughout our country and around the world – and changed so much.
Please join us, alongside many other supporting organizations, as we gather in remembrance of the lives lost in Newtown one year ago as well as the 85 American lives lost to gunfire every day. This is also an opportunity for you to engage with a community of supporters, to help energize the efforts of the national movement, and for us all to look ahead as we demand real and lasting solutions to gun violence.
BEYOND NEWTOWN RALLY
Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 2pm
San Francisco’s UN Plaza
Speakers on Saturday:
U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier
California Senator Mark Leno
Robyn Thomas, Executive Director, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Mindy Finkelstein, Gun Violence Survivor
There is also a Youth March prior to the rally, which will begin at 12pm at the Gene Friend Recreation Center at 270 6th Street, and culminate at UN Plaza for the rally. A vigil will be held on Friday at 1 pm, on the steps of San Francisco City Hall.
Case information: Shew, et al. v. Malloy,et al., No. 13-00739 (D. Conn., complaint filed May 22, 2013)
At Issue: Challenging the constitutionality of Connecticut’s Post-Newtown Assault Weapon and Large Capacity Magazine Ban. This lawsuit, filed by a gun lobby group and a few individuals, challenges the Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety Act (“the Act”), which was passed in direct response to the tragic elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter at Newtown used an assault weapon and multiple large capacity magazines to kill 26 people, including 20 children, in just five minutes. The Act strengthened Connecticut’s ban on these dangerous weapons by–among other things–broadening the definition of an assault weapon to include guns with characteristics that enable the firing of hundreds of bullets per minute, aid in the commission of mass murders and assaults, or facilitate the weapon’s concealment. The Act also banned the possession of large capacity ammunition magazines, which allow mass shooters to file dozens and dozens of bullets without pausing to reload. This lawsuit makes the radical claim that the Second Amendment protects a “right” to own assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines and that Connecticut’s laws regulating these dangerous weapons (including the Act) are unconstitutional.
The Law Center’s Brief: Our brief, joined by Connecticut Against Gun Violence, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and Cleveland School Remembers, argues that the Second Amendment, as interpreted by the Supreme Court and other courts, does not protect a right to own weapons that are designed for a battlefield and have no connection to lawful self-defense in the home. Indeed, every court to have considered challenges to laws banning assault weapons or high capacity magazines since the Supreme Court’s decisions in Heller and McDonald has upheld those laws, including the conservative D.C. Circuit. The Law Center recently filed a similar brief in a case challenging New York’s assault weapon and large capacity ammunition magazine ban.
The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence applauds President Obama’s strong words in yesterday morning’s press conference announcing that a gun violence task force headed by Vice President Biden will lead to “concrete proposals no later than January.”
On Tuesday, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and 25 other state and national gun violence prevention organizations wrote to President Obama to thank him for speaking out in the wake of last week’s devastating shooting in Newtown, and to urge him to provide the leadership needed for the passage of sensible laws to prevent future tragedies.
Appointing a task force is a critical first step to curbing the flow of guns in to the hands of dangerous people. There are many steps the President can take today – including supporting many bills that are being introduced. Our coalition of gun violence prevention organizations offers support to the administration and Congress.
“We have been greatly encouraged by President Obama’s words since the horrific tragedy in Newtown,” said Robyn Thomas, Executive Director of the Law Center, which was formed in the wake of an assault weapon massacre at a law firm in San Francisco in 1993. “We appreciate the President’s past expression of support for laws banning assault weapons and requiring background checks on all gun buyers, and are hopeful that his commitment to use the power of this office to reduce gun violence will provide the catalyst needed for the adoption of those laws.”
Read and share our letter to President Obama below.
Following the killing of 26 innocent children and adults in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, vigils for the fallen erupted across the country. Over 200 victims of gun violence and activists from the Law Center and other organizations across the country gathered at the White House on Friday to call on President Obama to take action to curb the epidemic of gun violence in our country.