Violence Policy Center

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The Violence Policy Center (VPC) is an American nonprofit organization that works to prevent gun death and injury through research, education, and advocacy.

Quotes[edit]

2001[edit]

  • Date: October 16, 1991
    Location: Luby's Cafeteria, Killeen, Texas
    Alleged Shooter: George Hennard
    People Killed: 24 (shooter committed suicide)
    People Injured: 20
    Firearm(s): Ruger P-89 9mm pistol and a Glock 9mm pistol
    Circumstances
    Hennard, who had a history of mental instability and was described by friends and family as paranoid and troubled, drove his pickup truck through the window of a Luby's Cafeteria restaurant and opened fire, killing 23 people and wounding 20 others, then killed himself.
    How Firearm(s) Acquired
    Both guns were purchased legally from Mike's Gun Shop in February and March of 1991 in Henderson, Nevada. Although he had a history of mental illness, Hennard was never committed by court order to a mental health institution. Federal law prohibits firearms purchases only by people who have been committed to a mental health facility under court order.

2007[edit]

  • The two handguns used in the Virginia Tech shooting—a 9mm Glock 19 pistol, and a 22 caliber Walther P22 pistol—stand as stark examples of the trend toward increased lethality that defines today’s gun industry. Since the mid-1980s, the gun industry has embraced increased firepower and capacity to resell the shrinking base of gun buyers in America. In the 1980s, a very significant shift in gun design and marketing occurred: high-capacity semiautomatic pistols became the dominant product line. Formerly, the most popular handgun design was the revolver, most often containing six shots. In 1980, semiautomatic pistols accounted for only 32 percent of the 2.3 million handguns produced in America. The majority were revolvers. By 1991 this number had reversed itself with semiautomatic pistols accounting for 74 percent of the 1.8 million handguns produced that year.

2011[edit]

  • The high-capacity Glock pistol owned by Norway mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik stands as a stark example of the gun industry’s marketing of increased lethality. Since the mid-1980s, increased firepower and capacity have defined the products of the gun industry—of both U.S. and foreign manufacture.
    Glock pistols have been part of the arsenals of the some of the most infamous mass shooters in the United States, including the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting which left 33 dead and 17 wounded and, more recently, the attack in January 2011 in Tucson, AZ, by Jared Loughner which left six dead and 13 wounded—including U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was illegally carrying a 45 caliber Glock pistol when he was stopped by law enforcement after the 1995 bombing for driving a car without a license plate.
  • Who does the National Rifle Association represent? In its direct-mail solicitations and public statements, the NRA presents itself as the uncompromising voice of the American gun owner. But new research reveals that since 2005 the NRA has received millions of dollars from the gun industry. The means by which the industry helps fund the NRA vary: from million-dollar industry grants to a program that rounds up gun store customers’ purchases to the nearest dollar with the difference going to the NRA—including a contribution from a soon-to-be mass shooter buying ammunition. Corporate contributors to the NRA come from every sector of the firearms industry, including: manufacturers of handguns, rifles, shotguns, assault weapons, and high-capacity ammunition magazines; gun distributors and dealers; and, vendors of ammunition and other shooting-related products. And they come from outside the firearms industry—including Xe, the new name for the now-infamous Blackwater Worldwide...
    The depth and breadth of gun industry financial support for the National Rifle Association makes clear that the self-proclaimed “America’s oldest civil rights organization” is, in fact, the gun industry’s most high-profile trade association. While the NRA works to portray itself as protecting the “freedoms” of its membership, it is, in fact protecting the gun industry’s freedom to manufacture virtually any gun or accessory it sees fit to produce....
    The mutually dependent nature of the National Rifle Association and the gun industry explains the NRA’s unwillingness to compromise on even the most limited controls over firearms or related products (such as restrictions on high-capacity ammunition magazines) and its support of legislation that clearly favors gunmakers over gun owners (such as legislation limiting the legal rights of gun owners killed or injured by defective firearms). The NRA claims that its positions are driven solely by a concern for the interests of gun owners, never mentioning its own financial stake in protecting the profits of its gun industry patrons.

2012[edit]

  • Holmes’s use of Smith & Wesson’s M&P15 assault rifle demonstrates the clear and present danger of a gun designed for war and ruthlessly marketed for profit to civilians.
    In early 2006, Smith & Wesson announced that it had begun shipping the first of its M&P15 rifles. The M&P (Military & Police) “tactical rifle” was the first long gun produced by a company that had been long known as a handgun manufacturer. According to Shooting Industry, the new rifle was “specifically engineered to meet the needs of global military and police personnel, as well as sporting shooters.”
    The handgun company’s turn to assault rifles was a stark example of the gun industry’s relentless militarization of the civilian market. By 2006, military-style semiautomatic assault rifles had become one of the mainstays of the civilian gun market. Smith & Wesson did not make rifles. But it had successfully marketed a line of M&P semiautomatic handguns to military, police, and civilian customers. Its executives decided to introduce their own line of Military & Police assault rifles. Based on the AR-15/M-16 design, these “tactical rifles” would be heavily pitched to civilians.

2018[edit]

  • In the wake of declining household gun ownership, it is no secret that the gun industry has focused on semiautomatic military-style assault weapons, most notably AR-15-type rifles, in its marketing and sales efforts. The target markets are two-fold: older males who already own firearms and can be enticed into purchasing one — or one more — of these battlefield-derived weapons; young males, who although they lack interest in the traditional shooting sports such as hunting, are intrigued by what one gun industry trade magazine calls the “tactical coolness factor.”
  • The Smith & Wesson M&P15 assault rifle demonstrates the clear and present danger of a gun designed for war and ruthlessly marketed for profit to civilians.
    In early 2006, Smith & Wesson announced that it had begun shipping the first of its M&P15 rifles. The M&P (Military & Police) “tactical rifle” was the first long gun produced by a company that had been long known as a handgun manufacturer. According to Shooting Industry, the new rifle was “specifically engineered to meet the needs of global military and police personnel, as well as sporting shooters.”
    The handgun company’s turn to assault rifles was a stark example of the gun industry’s relentless militarization of the civilian market. By 2006, military-style semiautomatic assault rifles had become one of the mainstays of the civilian gun market. Smith & Wesson did not make rifles. But it had successfully marketed a line of M&P semiautomatic handguns to military, police, and civilian customers. Its executives decided to introduce their own line of Military & Police assault rifles. Based on the AR-15/M-16 design, these “tactical rifles” would be heavily pitched to civilians.
  • The distinctive “look” of assault weapons is not cosmetic. It is the visual result of specific functional design decisions. Military assault weapons were designed and developed for a specific military purpose — laying down a high volume of fire over a wide killing zone, also known as “hosing down” an area. The most significant assault weapon functional design features are:
    (1) ability to accept a high-capacity ammunition magazine,
    (2) a rear pistol or thumb-hole grip, and,
    (3) a forward grip or barrel shroud.
    Taken together, these are the design features that make possible the deadly and indiscriminate “spray-firing” for which assault weapons are designed. None of them are features of true hunting or sporting guns. Civilian semiautomatic assault weapons incorporate all of the functional design features that make assault weapons so deadly. They are arguably more deadly than military versions, because most experts agree that semiautomatic fire is more accurate than automatic fire. Although the gun lobby today argues that there is no such thing as civilian assault weapons, the industry, the National Rifle Association, and gun magazines enthusiastically described these civilian versions as “assault rifles,” “assault pistols,” and “military assault” weapons to boost civilian sales throughout the 1980s. The industry and its allies only began to use the semantic argument that a “true” assault weapon is a machine gun after civilian assault weapons turned up in large numbers in the hands of drug traffickers, criminal gangs, mass murderers, and other dangerous criminals.
  • Examples of Mass Shootings in the United States Involving Glock Pistols

    Mass Shooting Incident
    Luby’s Cafeteria
    Killeen, Texas
    October 16, 1991
    Shooter: George Hennard
    Casualties
    24 dead (including shooter), 20 wounded
    Firearm(s)
    Glock 9mm pistol
    Sturm Ruger P‐89 9mm pistol

    Mass Shooting Incident
    Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church
    Charleston, South Carolina
    June 17, 2015
    Shooter: Dylann Roof
    Casualties
    9 dead
    Firearm(s)
    Glock .45 Model 41 pistol

    Mass Shooting Incident
    Safeway parking lot
    Tucson, Arizona
    January 8, 2011
    Shooter: Jared Loughner
    Casualties
    6 dead, 13 wounded
    Firearm(s)
    Glock 19 pistol

    Mass Shooting Incident
    Virginia Tech
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    April 16, 2007
    Shooter: Seung‐Hui Cho
    Casualties
    33 dead (including shooter), 17 wounded
    Firearm(s)
    Glock 19 pistol
    Walther P22 pistol

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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