Gun control groups react to Chattanooga terrorist attack, urge changes


Groups to include Everytown, Moms Demand Action, and the Brady Campaign are calling for new gun restrictions after a terrorist’s assault on two military installations. (Photo: AP)

Within hours of the mass killing that claimed the lives of four U.S. Marines in what authorities are classifying as domestic terrorism, gun violence groups issued statements calling for action.

Thursday morning’s attack on two military installations that left five dead at the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center in Chattanooga — including the suspected shooter — and three injured is still under investigation, but several organizations are already blaming the gun.

“As the details continue to unfold in Tennessee, it is already clear that this is another reminder of the work that needs to be done to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people,” reads a statement issued by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence five hours after the first news of the event broke.

Those sentiments were echoed in remarks made by Capt. Mark Kelly, the co-founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions along with his wife, former U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords, and of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action coalition.

“This horrific shooting should be a call to action to strengthen our gun laws,” said Ron Littlefield, former Chattanooga Mayor and member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns in a statement.

However, in none of the statements seeking increased laws were explanations of how Thursday’s shooting would have been prevented or mitigated by measures backed by any of the groups.

This may largely be because information on how the killer obtained his firearm is currently not available.

What is known about the suspect, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, is that he was a naturalized U.S. citizen brought to the country as an infant from Kuwait with a middle class background that included graduating from high school in Red Bank, Tennessee, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with an engineering degree. While according to reports, his father was investigated by the FBI several years ago and put on the terrorism watch list, he was later removed.

Information obtained thus far cite Abdulazeez had a marginal criminal record, stopped once for speeding and a second time this April for a DUI charge which he was set to appear in court for at the end of the month. This on the outset would not appear to deem the 24 year old a prohibited firearms possessor as the maximum punishment allowed by state law for first time DUI offenders is 11 months.

Nevertheless, gun control advocates are taking the early opportunity to ask that more be done.

“Tennesseans must stand up and demand more from elected leaders to prevent the gun violence that kills 88 Americans and injures hundreds more every single day,” said Linda McFadyen-Ketchum, of the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action.

According to the most recent FBI crime statics, those for 2013, the nation saw 8,454 homicides by firearm, or about 23 per day, a figure that has declined each year since at least 2009 despite a growing population.

Latest Reviews

  • Magnum Minis: NAA Pug & Ranger II Revolvers

    If the smallest gun of all is what you desire, then North American Arms should be at the top of your list. Let’s look at two main designs – the Pug and Ranger II revolvers.

    Read More
  • Battle of H&K .45s: HK USP Compact vs HK 45C

    These are two great handguns manufactured by the premier company Heckler & Koch. In 1995, they developed the HK USP Compact, the with a few modifications they brought the 45C to market in 2007.

    Read More
  • Taking a Look at the FN 509 Edge LS

    Introduced earlier this year after extensive trials and development, the new optics-ready FN 509 Edge LS is feature-heavy and walks the line between practical and competition.

    Read More
  • Unboxing the Sweetest HK P7 Ever

    Let’s talk about a 100-percent ambidextrous, semi-automatic, striker-fired pistol from the Cold War. Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s toss in the fact that it’s a 9mm blowback that uses a gas-delayed recoiling system.

    Read More