Copyright 1994 PR Newswire Association, Inc. PR Newswire

*March* 31, 1994, Thursday

*SECTION:* State and Regional News


*LENGTH:* 451 words



*Teresa Heinz,* chair of the Campaign for Public Safety, today issued the following statement thanking Sarah and Jim Brady for announcing their support of an assault weapon ban in Pennsylvania:

"On behalf of the many citizens of Pennsylvania concerned about the violence that is ripping our communities apart, I wish to thank Sarah and Jim Brady for their support of our campaign to ban assault weapons in our state. While their personal tragedy did not involve an assault weapon, no one knows better the toll that gun violence can take. Theirs is a voice of much-needed wisdom and common sense.

"We need that voice right now, because the disinformation machine of the gun lobby is cranking out its tired old song at full volume. It is a lullaby of death, and we cannot allow our legislators to be hypnotized once again by its lies and half-truths.

"The gun lobby wants us to believe that assault weapon violence doesn't count for much. But if they are not impressed by the body count so far, the rest of us must be persuaded by the mayhem yet to come. These weapons are an emerging threat to public health, and like any dangerous disease, they must be stamped out before the infection becomes an unstoppable plague.

"The gun lobby wants gun owners to believe a campaign such as ours threatens their right to bear arms. No court has ever upheld this claim. In the same way that we can ban child pornography without undermining the first amendment, we can outlaw these obscene weapons without undermining the second.

"The gun lobby wants us to believe bans such as this do not work, and that we should crack down on criminals instead. I say do both. We must also focus on the causes and the instruments of crime, not just criminals. As long as we are not willing to ban even a small group of killing machines most popular with gangs and hate groups, we are sending an undeniable signal that we are not serious about ending the violence. Too many American children could tell us as much.

"The gun lobby wants our legislators to believe this is a city problem. It is a divisive lie. These weapons have been found all over our state. Their violence knows no boundaries. Legislators in our suburbs and elsewhere must have the courage to understand they represent the people and their well-being, not these instruments of death.

"I urge all Pennsylvanians who want to keep their communities intact and their children safe to speak up. Together, we can drown out the noisy falsehoods and make our legislators listen to the one voice that counts, the voice of the people."

// CONTACT: Grant Oliphant of Campaign for Public Safety, 412-497-5700

*LOAD-DATE:* April 1, 1994

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