The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
The BBC World Service conducted this interview with Daniel Vice of the Brady Campaign:
BBC: (on passing "common sense" gun laws) …In fact, the laws are getting less strict not more strict.
Vice: Sadly at the federal level, we have had some success at the state level, for example, after the Columbine shootings Colorado passed a law requiring background checks at gun shows. But in Virginia you can go to a gun show and buy a semi-automatic military-style assault rifle – no background check, not even a record of sale (BBC commentator: "Oh my…), you don't have to tell them your name.
BBC: Why is that the case?
Vice: Partly I think it's the myth of the power of the gun lobby. The National Rifle Association has a lot of money, which they give freely to our elected officials and very few are willing to stand up and say no. But we've seen that when they do, and there are some who do, that they are supported by the American public. People support common sense gun laws and we're hopeful that our leaders will finally stand up and say enough is enough and protect our children.
BBC: When tougher laws were introduced in Colorado after the Columbine shootings, what was the public response there?
Vice: The public was supportive of that and we've seen that gun laws work. For example, in other countries that have passed tough gun laws there's no where near the level of gun violence that we have. And at the federal level we're working to change that, where we can't succeed there we'll go at the state level, and if we have to change our leadership that will come too.