The National Atheist Party reacts to the recent shooting by lone gunman in New York City and offers condolences, commentary and requests action after the shooting.
August 25, 2012 - The National Atheist Party (NAP) is deeply saddened by the shooting of innocent workers this morning at the Empire State Building in New York City at the hands of a lone gunman. Two dead, including the gunman Jeffrey Johnson, and eight wounded.
The NAP sends its condolences to the family of the Steven Ercolino who died at the scene and our wishes to those who were wounded and their families for a quick recovery.
The number of senseless shootings this summer alone, caused by individuals who have unrestricted access to purchase firearms, has become unbearable. Therefore, the NAP is calling for state and federal officials and political candidates to have an open and rational discussion concerning gun control.
The NAP joins New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and his organization, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and other gun control advocacy organizations in calling for stricter laws involving the sale of firearms, for waiting periods, and for more complete background checks before a purchaser of a new firearm can receive his or her weapon.
“The NAP believes in the rights promulgated by the Second Amendment,” said NAP President Troy Boyle. “We understand the use of firearms in sport hunting, competition and personal safety. We do not want to take guns away from these individuals.”
In October 2011, a Gallup report on gun ownership concluded, “At 47%, reported gun ownership is the highest it has been in nearly two decades…” In the wake of the recent shootings throughout the United States in the past year, the NAP finds these statistics to be “regrettable and frightening.”
“We find that the growing proliferation of guns owned by American citizens as reported by the Geneva Graduate Institute of International Studies, nearly 90 firearms per 100 citizens, is a clear indication that the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun organizations are wrong in their assessment that the removal of restrictive gun ownership laws will reduce crime,” continued Troy Boyle. “There is no statistical data to justify their position.”
The NAP recognizes that all rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights come with restrictions and exceptions. When calling for their independence in 1776, the American people proclaimed,“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal… with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness...” Yet, the NAP believes life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness trumps gun ownership when it becomes evident that the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment are being abused.
The National Atheist Party is calling presidential candidate Mitt Romney and President Obama to make gun control a priority in the 2012 presidential campaign.
The NAP is asking that the presidential debates include a discussion on gun ownership and increase regulations response to the mass shootings since Columbine’s 1999 massacre.
The NAP calls for the candidates in all state and federal congressional elections do the same.
The NAP further calls on all Americans, conservative and liberal, believers and secular humanists, to voice their opinions and call for an open and rational discussion concerning gun ownership in the United States.
Paraphrasing New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, the National Atheist Party believes that gun controls, ownership restrictions, and mandatory waiting periods are better than flooding America with more guns, because life and happiness is better than death.
The National Atheist Party is a non-profit, 527 political organization devoted to issue advocacy and guided by the values of secular humanism and evidenced-based reasoning. The party seeks to politically represent U.S. atheists and all who share the goal of a secular government by gathering the political strength of secularists nationwide. To learn more about the party, visit www.usanap.org.
Catey Condon, Press Secretary
National Atheist Party
P.O. Box 371
Florence, KY 41022