Absolutely tragic. Unlocked guns should NOT be in the reach of children. http://t.co/wpT8VuaRSQ
Guns should NOT be a worry kindergartners have and it is heartbreaking that it is for some. http://t.co/eIMHWZVxja
So many of you have called, clicked, and shared! LET'S KEEP IT UP AND LET THESE SENATORS KNOW WE AREN'T GOING AWAY! http://t.co/USGTyAHZ7L
Sen. @marcorubio voted NO on background checks a year ago. Mark his #SHAMEaversary by calling him NOW and ask why! http://t.co/PM8xbe2yXW
Sen @robportman voted AGAINST the will of 90% of Americans a year ago today. CALL and tell him you haven't forgotten! http://t.co/ynOfEp8cop
A year ago TODAY @SenDeanHeller voted NO on background checks. This #SHAMEaversary CALL and say you haven't forgotten http://t.co/MeDRw5EvX3
A year ago 46 Senators voted AGAINST background checks. Mark their #SHAMEaversary by calling the following offices! http://t.co/WsbcoqjGu2
Great piece illustrating the hypocrisy of US gun laws. #FinishTheJob http://t.co/2KEnE7VfeD
We are excited by @MikeBloomberg's announcement today and applaud him for his ongoing efforts to end gun violence! http://t.co/yoIu3dSqek

Brady Campaign Statement on Verdict in Case Against George Zimmerman

For Immediate Release • July 13, 2013 • Contact: Media [at] BradyNetwork [dot] org (Media [at] BradyNetwork [dot] org)

(Washington, DC)— Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence today called the verdict, “part of a tragic event that could have easily been prevented.”  

Gross said, “There is sharp disagreement over the verdict, but there can be no disagreement over the reason why Trayvon Martin is dead.  George Zimmerman had a gun that night, and the state of Florida allowed him to carry it virtually anywhere despite a violent history.  Virtually anybody roaming our neighborhoods with hidden handguns is the gun lobby's vision, but it is not the vision of the rest of the American public truly committed to safer communities.  We will work as long, and as hard as it takes to prevent more tragedies like Trayvon Martin's. We recognize, at the end of the day, this is an enormous tragedy and a young man lost his life.  Our sympathies continue to go out to Trayvon’s family.”

The Brady Campaign has been one of the leaders in fighting against “Stand Your Ground” or so called, “shoot first” laws like the one in Florida.  As evidenced by the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin, these laws have deadly consequences.  They promote a dangerous mentality and misperception about weapons, by overemphasizing their value in self-defense relative to the other dangers that they pose. 

In the end, George Zimmerman's mentality, and what emboldened him to approach Trayvon, may be debatable.  What is not debatable, though, is the fact that Trayvon Martin is dead because Zimmerman had a gun.  Zimmerman was given a concealed carry permit by the state of Florida despite an arrest record and a history of violence, as a direct result of the influence of the gun lobby, and if it weren’t for that, this tragedy never would have happened.  

The Brady Center, the legal arm of the Brady Campaign, has been at the forefront in fighting concealed weapons laws.  They recently filed an amicus brief along with the parents of Trayvon Martin, asking the entire United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to review and reverse a 2-1 decision that held Illinois law restricting the public carrying of firearms unconstitutional.

“Allowing deadly semi-automatic weapons on the streets does not make a community safer.  By arguing for a broad constitutional right to carry hidden handguns, the gun lobby wants to deprive law enforcement of the tools it needs to keep guns off the streets.  The American people should be allowed to decide whether they want people like George Zimmerman carrying loaded guns in public places where their children walk home,” said Brady Center Legal Action Project Director Jonathan Lowy.  “Most courts have properly recognized that reasonable public safety laws do not infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.  Courts should listen to the parents of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, who lost their sons to people whose states entitled them to carry guns in public.”

The brief was filed on behalf of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence; Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, parents of Trayvon Martin; Ron Davis and Lucia McBath, parents of Jordan Davis; Major Cities Chiefs Association; and International Brotherhood of Police Officers by attorneys with the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project and the firm Hogan Lovells US LLP. More information on this can be found at http://www.bradycampaign.org/?q=brady-center-victims’-families-law-enforcement-urge-federal-appeals-court-to-review-and-reverse.

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The mission of the Brady organization is to create a safer America for all of us that will lead to the dramatic reduction in gun deaths and injuries that we all seek.

Dan Gross is the President of the Brady Campaign and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. More information about Dan Gross is available here.

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