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Special Event

Jim Brady Pleas For More Gun Control

Aired March 28, 2001 - 11:39 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Let's go back now to Washington, as promised.

Let's go back to the press conference, Jim Brady now beginning to speak.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

JIM BRADY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: ... In Washington. Sarah and I, certainly, won't celebrate this anniversary. The occasion won't be altogether sad, because the shooting ultimately led us to dedicate our lives to strengthening our nation's gun laws and making our country safe from gun violence.

And we have accomplished a great deal. With help from so many of our friends, including those in law enforcement, we've passed the Brady law, the assault weapon ban, and other majors that have helped to save lives. But sadly, we still have a long way to go.

Since I was shot in 1981, more than 670,000 Americans have been killed by firearms. That is the equivalent of killing every man, woman, and child in North Dakota. And for every person killed by a gun, at least two more like me are wounded.

There are additional commonsense steps that can be taken to prevent these tragedies from happening again. Congress knows what to do. Over the last two years, members of both chambers debated gun violence issues, and the Senate reached bipartisan agreement on several commonsense proposals. These include measures that would close a gun show loophole that permits the sale of guns with no background check, require child safety locks with every handgun sold, and prohibit juveniles from getting assault weapons.

So why weren't those laws enacted? The gun lobby, led by the well-financed National Rifle Association, called its allies in Congress, took out its checkbook, and killed the efforts to pass even these modest and reasonable steps toward safer communities.

Poll after poll has shown the vast majority of Americans supports sensible policies to help prevent gun violence. If we make our voices heard loud and clear, we can persuade Congress and the president to act to ensure our vision of an America where we can be free from gun violence at home, at the workplace, and in school. That would mean fewer families facing anniversaries such as the one that my family faces every March 30th.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Jim.

And now, I think we've probably covered things pretty well.

HARRIS: We've been listening to Jim Brady, the press secretary for Ronald Reagan who was shot when Ronald Reagan was shot some 20 years ago. Friday will be the anniversary of that shooting event.

And he was making comments this morning about what he calls additional commonsense measures that should be put into place: closing gun show loopholes, enacting laws requiring child safety locks on all guns, and requiring that all laws prevent juveniles from having access to any assault weapons. He says he has a vision of America free from gun violence at work, home and school. He does not want any other American to have an anniversary like the one he is about observe on Friday, the 30th.

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