Guns

Brady "Guns & Hate" Report-Weak Gun Laws Arm Violent Extremists

| by Brady Campaign

WASHINGTON --- On the ten-year anniversary of the neo-Nazi shooting spree that terrorized the Midwest over the July 4th weekend in 1999, a new report released by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence points to a new wave of hate-motivated gun violence by extremists armed by our nation's tragically weak gun laws.

The report explains how loopholes in our gun laws that have fueled hate shootings since 1999 still remain. The report also highlights how the National Rifle Association has repeatedly used incendiary, extremist rhetoric that has been reflected in statements made by several of these killers.

On the weekend of July 4, 1999, the nation witnessed a horrible rampage of hate-motivated gun violence. Over the course of three days, a white supremacist killer drove across Illinois and Indiana, randomly targeting African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Jews. The killer murdered two former Northwestern University basketball Coach Ricky Byrdsong and Indiana University graduate student Won Joon Yoon - and left nine wounded.

"This Brady Center report illustrates the awful toll taken by armed racists and other extremists who never should have had access to firearms in the first place," said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. "There would be no better way to honor the victims of these hate killings than for our elected officials to act now to prevent other families from having to suffer such senseless loss."

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The report issued today, Guns and Hate: A Lethal Combination, is available at
http://www.bradycenter.org/xshare/pdf/reports/guns-hate.pdf.

The report points to a series of recent hate shootings by violent extremists who exploited loopholes in the nation's gun laws, including:

-- The shooting death of Officer Stephen Johns by a white supremacist at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC on June 10, 2009;

-- The shooting death of one soldier and wounding of another at a military recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas at the hands of a Muslim extremist on June 1, 2009.

-- The shooting deaths of three Pittsburgh police officers at the hands of a white supremacist armed with an AK-47 on April 4, 2009;