Originally created 07/31/04

Keep assault weapons off streets

On Sept. 13, the ban on assault weapons will expire. The AK-47, Tec-9 and the Uzi will be legal in this country and readily available in our neighborhoods, and this will not be good. If the ban on assault weapons is not renewed, we are all at risk and our police will be outgunned. Why would anyone want these weapons back on the streets of America?

What will it mean for America to have these weapons of mass destruction on our streets again? "One can only imagine what might happen if these weapons are legal again," District of Columbia Police Chief Charles Ramsey said recently. "They are a threat to the safety of our dedicated police officers and the public."

Assault weapons are made to kill many people at one time. They have been used in some of America's most notorious massacres, including the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado and the 2003 D.C. sniper shootings.

We must be concerned about this issue. Georgia is a high-volume gun state. According to research conducted by Americans for Gun Safety, in 2003 Georgia ranked fourth in the nation in the number of high-crime gun stores, or those that were responsible for at least 200 crime traces between 1996-2000.

We need sensible gun laws, enforcement of existing laws and concerted local efforts to make our city, state and nation safer.

President Bush made a campaign promise to renew the ban on assault weapons. He has no choice but to keep his word on this issue.

Blacks Against Black Crimes, Inc. joins with the Million Mom March, Georgians for Gun Safety and the Brady Campaign for Handgun Control in supporting the assault weapon ban and all efforts to reduce firearm injuries and death...

Barbara Thurmond

(Editor's note: The writer represents Blacks Against Black Crimes Inc., an Augusta organization.)


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