Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America calls on Dallas District Attorney and lawmakers to respond after another case of horrific gun violence
Last month in Dallas, Texas, a stranger shot an 8-year-old boy in the face while he was playing tag outside his home. Once again, an innocent child was a victim of our nation’s gun violence epidemic. Moms are outraged by this continued violence, and by our elected officials, who sit idly by, kowtowing to a vengeful gun lobby.
Local police arrested Brian Cloninger, 46, for the shooting of Donald Maiden, Jr. on Sept. 3 and charged him with injury to a child. While no clear motive for the shooting has been determined – the only witness is 8-year-old Donald, whose mouth is wired shut as he attempts to recover – Cloninger admitted to bystanders that he had shot the child, “Because I wanted to.”
Cloninger was serving a 15-month probationary sentence for a DWI at the time of the shooting. In 2002, he had previously been charged with DUI in Florida. Although he was not allowed to consume alcohol while on probation, police found a beer can in his truck after the shooting.
“This is a man with a record of making decisions that show a clear disregard for human life,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “The fact that he was able to obtain a gun is exactly why gun reform is so desperately needed. Until we fix this, our children will continue to pay the highest price.”
American children and teens are 17 times more likely to die from guns than their peers in other developed countries, and gun violence is the leading cause of death for black children, according to the Children’s Defense Fund. In addition, one American child or teen is shot and killed every 3 hours and 15 minutes.
At the time of his arrest, Cloninger bail was set at $2.2 million. It has since been reduced to $1 million.
“Someone who is accused of and has admitted to a crime this depraved deserves not even the slightest appearance of leniency from the court,” said Watts. “Dangerous people like Cloninger not only deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, but they should not have access to firearms in the first place.”
Moms Demand Action has started a petition demanding the Dallas County District Attorney’s office review and revoke Cloninger’s bail, and publicly demonstrate their commitment to upholding justice in Donald’s case. Texas members of the grassroots movement will deliver the petition to the District Attorney’s office when it reaches 5,000 signatures.