It has been another agonizing week in America. Blood in the streets of a Chicago suburb on the Fourth of July has given way to funerals and rallies, including an outpouring of support for two little boys, one a toddler orphaned as his two parents died in the shooting and another 8-year-old boy fighting for his life in the hospital with his spine severed by a bullet. This, among dozens of other families grieving and treating injuries both physical and mental from the traumatic event. Is this what you want, NRA? How can the supporters and manufacturers of assault weapons sleep at night knowing fellow Americans have been devastated by your deadly products and the policies that support them?
It is time to put the responsibility where it belongs.
This rhetoric about our inability to stop massacres is untrue. Change needs to start at the source of the problem, and not rely solely on lawmakers to control the deadly weapons once they are made and sold.
We call on all assault rifle manufacturers including: Bushmaster Firearms Industries, Inc., Daniel Defense, LLC, Sig Sauer, Inc., Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc., and Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. to voluntarily stop production and sales of these weapons of war for consumers by July 4, 2023. Stop the marketing, advertising and social media promotion of these weapons of mass destruction to the public. This is the most patriotic thing you can do. Businesses of all types adjust their product offerings and strategies at certain points when items are no longer of interest to the public, no longer safe or legal or no longer desired. You will still have markets for these weapons with military and police, but consumer sale and use must stop. You can no longer put profits over public safety. Neighbors. Friends. Children. Teachers. People in houses of worship. People in grocery stores. It has to stop.
Stop hiding behind the Second Amendment. The Founding Fathers of this nation are rolling in their graves at how contorted the Constitution has become. Never would a leader in good conscience write into the Constitution provisions to allow citizens to turn on each other and cannibalize fellow Americans. The killing power of assault weapons was unfathomable in 1776 when muskets and cannon balls were the only known weapons of war. The Second Amendment was intended to allow citizens to protect themselves… but the innocent children, parents and grandparents sitting on the sidewalk on the Fourth of July in Highland Park were of no danger to the gunman. This completely senseless tragedy… one of hundreds and hundreds in this country… must be our final call to action to enact desperately needed change for America. The true patriots will be the leaders of the NRA, assault weapons manufacturers and conservative legislators who finally change their views and do what is right for American children sitting in their schools or on parade routes in years to come.
We also call on all lawmakers and candidates in this election year to declare their stance on this issue. Every state needs to stand up and pass a ban on assault weapons for consumers, but more importantly we need a federal assault weapons ban to make this fully effective. Period. We further need protections removed that shield assault weapon companies from liability for their products or for their marketing schemes. Let market dynamics work for those companies and see if the risk of those products is worth the reward when the bubble wrap of protections is gone and those manufacturers are forced to deal with the financial reality of the carnage they cause.
Additional common-sense changes need to include raising the age of purchase of all guns to 24 years old and mental health background checks must be enacted for all gun purchases. Thirdly, magazine clips must be restricted in size as well as the high velocity ammunition that goes into them.
Finally, the assault weapons manufacturers should be named in litigation for their marketing practices which deceive and manipulate young people and glamorize these deadly products. We’ve seen this before, America, with Big Tobacco. Unfortunately it took us decades and countless deaths before we collectively took action to address that problem. We believe we are at the same tipping point in this country with assault weapons, and one way or another the assault weapons manufacturers and the NRA will pay the price and be forced to adapt to the reality of the world we live in today. Do the right thing right now, NRA and assault weapons manufacturers, our children and our country depend on it.
- Founding Partner
Antonio M. Romanucci has lived his commitment to justice starting with his early work as a Cook County Public Defender to recently being named Leading Lawyers’ Number One Civil Rights Lawyer and Chicago Lawyer Magazine’s 2021 ...
- Founding Partner
Stephan D. Blandin learned early that you must work hard and fight for what’s most important. He attended Chicago public grammar and high school and started working when he was 12 and has been working hard since then. He left home at ...
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