The National Organization for Women (NOW) is making support for the monthly vigil at the NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia on Saturday, October 14 part of NOW’s board meeting, which is taking place this weekend in Virginia.
The vigil is held on the 14th of every month in remembrance of the Sandy Hook massacre that occurred in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, 2012 that took the lives of 26 innocents, mostly children.
“This month’s vigil is particularly heartbreaking,” says NOW President Toni Van Pelt. “In the wake of the Las Vegas attack that is the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, we have a solemn obligation to speak our truth to the terrible power that is the modern NRA.
“The NRA wants to keep our truth out of sight, out of mind, and out of earshot, but our message to the NRA is simple: despite the millions of dollars that you spend to silence members of Congress, you will not silence us. We will not stand for women being killed by abusers, families and workers being gunned down with assault weapons, school children massacred and happy crowds being slaughtered without remorse or accountability by the gun industry and the Congress who refuses to regulate gun ownership.
“We know that people with a history of committing domestic violence are five times more likely to subsequently murder an intimate partner when a firearm is in the house. And over the past 25 years, more intimate partner homicides in the U.S. have been committed with guns than with all other weapons combined.”
More than half of women murdered with guns in the U.S. in 2011 — at least 53 percent — were killed by intimate partners or family members. And research by Everytown for Gun Safety establishes that this is also true for mass shootings: in 57 percent of the mass shootings between January 2009 and June 2014, the perpetrator killed an intimate partner or family member.
NOW supports the Democratic candidates who are running for statewide office in Virginia and appearing at Saturday’s vigil, Lt. Gov Ralph Northam, candidate for Governor, Justin Fairfax, candidate for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General Mark Herring, who is running for re-election. In addition, NOW calls on Congress to close the loopholes in the federal gun prohibitions to ensure that stalkers and dating partners are barred from gun ownerships just like other dangerous abusers. Congress must also require comprehensive background checks and ensure that prohibited domestic abusers cannot easily evade background checks by purchasing guns from unlicensed sellers.
“Domestic violence is inextricably linked to gun violence,” says Toni Van Pelt. “It’s long past time to stop playing politics with women’s lives. We will shame the NRA, confront the NRA and defy the NRA at every turn.”