California Gun Group Launches Pro-Gun Billboard Campaign

July 7, 2008 - 8:03 PM

( - Touting the slogan "Society is Safer When Criminals Don't Know Who's Armed," the California Rifle and Pistol Association has rented 300 billboards across the Golden State to advertise its belief that a heavily armed populace is a safer populace.

The association also believes the recent terrorist attacks in New York and Washington points out just how vulnerable Americans are and that they need to be armed.

"The Billboards present a simple message, in the hands of law abiding citizens guns are a deterrent to crime. Guns are used five times more often to save a life than they are misused to take one. And in the 40 states that have liberalized the issuance of concealed firearm permits, crime is way down. In short, guns save lives,' said CRPA spokesperson Chuck Michel in a statement.

"In light of what happened in New York City, people have stopped taking for granted their own security," Michel added.

The billboards carry a photo of a multiethnic group of about 20 smiling people and the slogan: "Society is safer when criminals don't know who's armed."

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence doesn't agree. Sarah Brady, its chairperson, believes tighter gun laws are needed in order to prevent terrorism and strengthen national security.

"We know from recent terrorism investigations that these dangerous criminals will exploit any opening in our laws to buy weapons, including firearms. In some cases, they have gone to gun shows and bought firearms and ammunition from unlicensed sellers who were not required to conduct criminal background checks," said Brady in a statement.

She added, "We can, and must, close loopholes in our firearm laws by requiring a background check every time a firearm is sold. A criminal background check is a minor inconvenience for gun buyers, most are completed within minutes, but is a key tool for protecting gun safety."

"Any anti-terrorism proposal," Brady concluded, "that fails to address easy access to firearms and retention of records is clearly inadequate. If we need more careful screening of people entering our country, surely we need to check the background of people buying guns once they are here. And it makes no sense to crack down on terrorists laundering money, if we allow them to use their cash to buy weapons with impunity."