This past week, Amnesty International USA observed the Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence, along with our fellow NGOs in the International Action Network on Small Arms.

The majority of human rights abuses documented by Amnesty International are linked to guns. We’ve long recognized that their widespread availability creates a climate of fear and intensifies violence – involving countless numbers of people who have been tortured, killed, injured, raped and forced to flee from their homes.

For decades, Amnesty International and other NGOs have worked to establish strong standards regulating the international arms trade. However, controlling the international flow of guns is simply not enough. The theme of this year’s Global Week of Action, “Stop Gun Violence and Save Lives,” was selected because of the need to focus just as much of our attention on strong national policies and programs to prevent the misuse of guns.