Brady Campaign, Americans for Responsible Solutions, Latino Victory Project, Human Rights Campaign, Women’s March and Many More Join Diverse Coalition to Help Save Lives from Deadly Hate Crimes
Fact Sheet on Gun Violence and Hate Crimes Highlights that 8,000 Hate Crimes Involving A Gun Are Committed in U.S. Each Year – More than 20 Every Day
Senator Casey and Congressman Cicilline Introduced New Legislation This Week – The Disarm Hate Act – To Prohibit People Convicted of Misdemeanor Hate Crimes from Buying or Having Guns
NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today announced that next week a diverse coalition of organizations will come together for #DisarmHate Week from June 12-18 – which includes the days marking one year since the mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando (June 12) and two years since the mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston (June 17) – to honor victims of hate-fueled gun violence in America and to demand that political leaders do more to prevent the approximately 8,000 hate crimes committed with guns that occur every year in America.
The coalition includes a wide range of gun violence, LGBTQ, domestic violence, civil rights and faith-based organizations dedicated to saving lives. The partners, in alphabetical order, include:
Americans for Responsible Solutions
Black Church Center
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
Center for American Progress
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Community Justice Reform Coalition
Human Rights Campaign
Latino Victory Project
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Matthew Shepard Foundation
National Council of Jewish Women
National Network to End Domestic Violence
National Organization for Women
National Women’s Law Center
(list in development)
Everytown also released a fact sheet highlighting that, in the U.S. each year, 8,000 hate crimes are committed with a gun – more than 20 every day – and reports indicate that cities across the country have experienced a significant increase in hate-fueled attacks since the November 2016 election. The vast majority of hate crimes are motivated by prejudice against a person’s race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, gender or gender identity. In 2015, hate crimes reported to the FBI reveal that:
- More than half were driven by racism, with approximately a quarter of all hate crimes motivated by bias against African-Americans;
- More than 20 percent of hate crimes were motivated by bias against a religion, most often anti-Semitism or anti-Islamic prejudices; and
- Nearly one-fifth were driven by prejudice against someone’s sexual orientation.
“As we enter a week marking two of our nation’s most horrific tragedies – the Charleston shooting and the Pulse Nightclub shooting – we must demand lawmakers listen to their constituents’ pleas to help make our nation safe for everyone,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Racism, homophobia, misogyny, transphobia, xenophobia and religious intolerance too often are the underpinnings of hate-fueled gun violence in America, which is why we are mobilizing and empowering all Americans to join us in the fight to disarm hate.’
“It’s intolerable that armed hatred is becoming the country’s new normal,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “As long as it’s far too easy for hateful people to access guns and carry out hate-fueled attacks, our most basic rights and freedoms will remain at risk. Americans are united in this conviction: It’s time to disarm hate and save lives.”
Yesterday, just ahead of #DisarmHate Week, Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced new legislation – the Disarm Hate Act – that would prohibit people convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from possessing or purchasing guns. As it currently stands, under federal law a violent or threatening misdemeanor hate crime conviction does not prohibit someone from buying or having a gun.
“Our son Jerry was the most loving and caring person, who touched the lives of all those he came across,” said Maria and Fred Wright, members of the Everytown Survivor Network, whose son, Jerry, was killed in the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting. “Since our son’s death, we have dedicated our lives to honoring his legacy of kindness by standing up and saying ‘no more’ to the gun violence that kills too many Americans every day. No parent should ever have to experience the heartbreak and pain we’ve now lived with for a year. It’s long past time for us to disarm hate. The future of our children and our country depends on it.”
“Two years ago Momma and my cousins Susie and Tywanza were gunned down during prayer service at their beloved Mother Emanuel,” said Sharon Risher, member of the Everytown Survivor Network whose loved ones were killed in the Emanuel AME shooting in Charleston. “Since then, I have had to live each day knowing I will never be able to speak to or hug my mother and cousins ever again. I know firsthand how deadly hate can be when it is allowed easy access to guns, but I also know the power of rising for action and demanding more from our lawmakers. Hate has no place in our society, and it is up to all of us to root it out so no other community is traumatized by senseless gun violence. The time to act is now.”
Partner organizations and Americans participating in #DisarmHate Week pledge to:
- Honor the lives of those killed in the Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando and the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston and others killed in hate-fueled gun violence tragedies;
- Speak out against the nearly 8,000 hate crimes committed with guns that take place in the United States each year; and
- Demand that our lawmakers implement common-sense gun legislation, including closing the background check loophole that allows people to purchase guns through unlicensed gun sales without a background check, to keep guns out of the hands of hate-filled, individuals.