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Sen. Markey, Rep. Clark, Rep. Kennedy, Attorney General Healey, Mayor Walsh, & Local Elected Leaders Join National “Vocal Majority” Bus Tour as it Stops in Boston, Calls on Massachusetts to Vote to Reduce Gun Violence this November

October 14, 2016


Sen. Markey, Rep. Clark, Rep. Kennedy, Attorney General Healey, Mayor Walsh, & Local Elected Leaders Join National “Vocal Majority” Bus Tour as it Stops in Boston, Calls on Massachusetts to Vote to Reduce Gun Violence this November

Event Was 20th Stop in 14-State, 42-Day National Bus Tour Urging Americans to Vote for Candidates Who Support Responsible Changes to Our Gun Laws That Save Lives

Gun Violence Claims the Lives of 33,000 Americans Each Year; Nearly 90 Percent of Americans Support Closing Loopholes in Federal Law That Let Felons, Domestic Abusers, and Terror Suspects Have Access to Guns

BOSTON – National, State and Local leaders joined former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords today as the Vocal Majority bus tour stopped in Boston for a Press Conference and Rally. Senator Ed Markey, Rep. Katherine Clark and Rep. Joe Kennedy III urged Massachusetts to make sure they use their vote to reduce gun violence in this election. AG Healey, Mayor Walsh, DA Dan Conley, Stop Gun Violence’s John Rosenthal, and Mothers for Justice and Equality’s Monalisa Smith echoed this message, saying it was time for the Vocal Majority of Americans and Massachusetts residents who support responsible change to our gun laws to stand up and speak out this November.

The Vocal Majority Tour event and national tour is being organized and hosted by Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, the Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly.

“Our country is in the grips of a gun violence crisis. And for too long, a small but vocal minority – driven and controlled by the gun lobby – have had an outsized influence over our nation’s gun laws,” said Congresswoman Giffords and Captain Kelly. “It’s time to ignite the Vocal Majority of Americans who support responsible change that saves lives to step out, speak up, and vote to reduce gun violence this November. The Vocal Majority will no longer be silent, and we must all be gun violence prevention voters in this election. Together, we can make sure that 2016 is remembered as the year that Americans found their voice on reducing gun violence and voted for safer communities. Your voice matters, and your vote matters.”

The event in Boston was the 20th stop, and the only in Massachusetts, on the 42-day Vocal Majority Tour, which Congresswoman Giffords and Captain Kelly kicked off on September 27th in Orlando, Florida, the site of the deadliest mass shooting in our country’s history, the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub that left 49 people dead.

“We cannot bring back the lives we have lost to gun violence in communities across the country, but we can commit ourselves to ending this senseless scourge of violence that tears families and communities apart. Now is the time to stand up for the families of Boston, of Newtown, of Orlando, of Chicago and all the cities that are saying enough is enough,” said U.S. Senator Ed Markey. “Let’s improve background checks and close gun show loopholes. Let’s pass my legislation to study gun violence like the public health crisis that it is. I thank Gabby Giffords, Mark Kelly and Americans for Responsible for Solutions for their tireless effort to put these commonsense laws on the books.”

“The people did not elect us to send thoughts and prayers, they elected us to act,” said Attorney General Maura Healey. “We have the power to act, to make change and to have our voices heard. Thanks to Congresswoman Giffords, Captain Kelly and the Vocal Majority, we will be heard.”

“”The majority of Americans are fed up with a Republican Congress that only answers to the gun lobby and does nothing to keep children safe from gun violence,” said Congresswoman Katherine Clark. “Too many lives have been lost to this deadly epidemic while our nation’s leaders remain silent. If Congress won’t change on gun violence, then it’s time for us to change Congress.”

“Every morning our nation wakes up to tragic stories of families shattered by gun violence. We have the capacity and capability to create change and protect our communities, but it must be met with the courage to act,” said Congressman Joseph Kennedy III. “Guided by the tireless advocacy of Congresswoman Giffords and Captain Kelly, we will make this country safer and we will enact common sense laws in city halls, state houses and our Capitol.”

“More than two thirds of Boston’s crime guns come from other states. Twenty-five percent come from southern states along I-95. Another 20% come from other states in our region,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “I’m proud of what we have done locally in Boston and in Massachusetts to keep guns off our streets and out of the hands of criminals but we need background checks and common sense gun regulations on the national level to keep every American safe.”

Following the event today, the Vocal Majority Tour will travel to Newtown, CT. Newtown is the site of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 where 20 children lost their lives alongside six adult staff member. This tragedy inspired Congresswoman Giffords and Capt. Kelly to found Americans for Responsible Solutions.

The Vocal Majority Tour is part of ARS PAC’s “Vocal Majority” campaign this fall to mobilize millions of Americans to make the 2016 election a referendum on gun violence prevention and to support leaders up and down the ballot who are committed to taking responsible steps that reduce gun violence.

Each year, gun violence claims the lives of 33,000 Americans and over 100,000 are injured, including two police officers in East Boston this week.

According to recent research, 89% of likely Massachusetts voters support responsible changes to our gun laws that help keep guns out of the wrong hands, including closing the loopholes in our laws that let felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill buy guns without a criminal background check, as well as loopholes that let known and suspected terrorists pass a background check and legally purchase a gun.

About Gun Violence in the United States

  • Americans are nearly 20 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than people in other peer countries. [Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection, and Critical Care, 2011]
  • Each year, 33,000 Americans die from gun violence. [WISQARS Injury Mortality Reports, 1999-2010]
  • Over the past 15 years, the gun murder rate has remained largely unchanged – even as violent crime has dropped. While America’s rate of violent crime has generally decreased over the past 15 years, the gun murder rate in the U.S. has remained relatively constant. [Everytown for Gun Safety, 2014]
  • The number of shootings is on the rise. While the number of gun murders in the U.S. has remained constant, the number of shootings has been increasing. The number of non-fatal gunshot wounds rose more than 50 percent between 2001 and 2013. [Everytown for Gun Safety, 2014]

About The 2016 Vocal Majority Tour & Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC

The Vocal Majority Tour is just one component of ARS PAC’s 2016 Vocal Majority Campaign to make 2016 a referendum on gun violence prevention. Along with the nationwide bus tour, the campaign also includes making significant investments in races and ballot initiatives across the country to support pro-gun violence prevention candidates and responsible ballot initiatives.

Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC (ARS PAC) works to elect candidates at every level of public office who show the political courage to stand up to the gun lobby, are passionate about reducing gun violence in our communities, and who commit to taking action once elected. Since 2013, ARS PAC has supported Champions for Common Sense in key federal, gubernatorial, and state races – and supported the passage of ballot initiatives – in states around the country.