New York, NY, January 5, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed President Barack Obama’s announcement of a series of Executive actions designed to address gun violence and promote gun safety.
ADL reaffirmed its belief that a crucial way to limit the power of extremists and others who pose a violent threat to society is to enact effective gun control legislation.
Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair, and Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:
It is long past the time when we can simply condemn the Sandy Hook or Charleston or San Bernardino shooters and mourn the victims. We owe it to those victims and to ourselves to find a way to meaningfully advance gun violence prevention efforts before the next tragedy.
For decades, we have supported federal and state initiatives designed to raise awareness and make it more difficult for children and extremists to access guns, including more stringent background checks and waiting periods, restrictions on high-capacity ammunition clips, and a ban on the import and sale of assault weapons.
We are pleased that the President’s initiatives include research on new, safer technologies, better data collection on the causes and prevention of gun violence, and efforts to close gaps in the current regulatory system which allow the trafficking of illegal guns and may enable people with felony convictions, minors, persons with mental illness and other prohibited persons to access firearms.
We can make these reforms without stigmatizing those who suffer from mental illness or demonizing lawful gun owners, and they definitely should not inspire more irresponsible, historically inaccurate and odious analogies to Nazi Germany.
ADL released a new report today documenting that 2015 was the deadliest year for domestic extremist violence in the past 20 years. Overwhelmingly the extremist weapon of choice in 2015 – as in virtually every year – was firearms. Over the past 50 years, firearms in the hands of domestic extremists have killed far more Americans than have bombs, blades, chemical or biological weapons, or any other type of weapon. In 2015, 48 of the 52 victims of extremist violence in the United States were killed by firearms – and all of the multiple murder incidents involved the use of one or more firearms.