Mayors convene to discuss violence prevention strategies, legislative priorities, community mobilization
“Earlier this week, I asked the City of Boston to stand with us on guns and say enough is enough,” Mayor Menino said. “As Mayors, we have a responsibility to our residents to do all we can to make our neighborhoods safer. Today, we’re calling on every community in Massachusetts to stand with us. We must keep the pressure on Congress to take swift action.”
Mayor Menino also praised the entire Massachusetts federal delegation for signing onto HR 137. This legislation requires background checks for every gun sale in America. But he also urged Mayors and their constituents to expand their reach: “Call your aunt in Florida; call your college roommate in Texas; call your old neighbor who moved to Vermont. Tell them we need them to stand with us and demand a plan from their members of Congress.”
Twenty-six Massachusetts mayors are members of MAIG. Mayors in attendance at today’s event included: Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan of Braintree, President, Mass Mayors Association, Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone of Somerville, Chair, Metro Mayors Coalition, Mayor William F. Scanlon of Beverly, Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. of Everett, Mayor Lisa Wong of Fitchburg, Mayor Patrick Ó. Murphy of Lowell, Mayor Gary Christenson of Malden, Mayor Michael J. McGlynn of Medford, Mayor Robert J. Dolan of Melrose, Mayor Jonathan Mitchell of New Bedford, Mayor Setti Warren of Newton, Mayor Thomas Koch of Quincy, Mayor Daniel Rizzo of Revere, Mayor Kimberley Driscoll of Salem, Mayor Scott D. Galvin of Woburn.
The Mayors also taped a public service announcement, to be aired statewide.
“I applaud Mayor Menino and his leadership on this most important issue facing our communities,” said Braintree Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan, and President of Mass Mayors Association. “This issue – gun violence – is not an urban problem, a suburban problem, or a rural problem, it is an American Problem. I trust that with good faith we can move beyond hot rhetoric and finger pointing and search for honest answers and decisive action to stop these needless and senseless acts of violence – so that all communities can be safer.”
“In the wake of the horrific killings in Newtown, Aurora and Tucson, and in the shadow of the senseless street shootings that afflict cities across the nation, we can no longer ignore the need for significant reform, and immediate action,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone of Somerville and Chair of the Metro Mayors Coalition. “I am encouraged by the growing willingness of our nation’s leaders to take up this vital public safety issue, and I will continue to work with my colleagues through MAIG to advocate for reform of our national firearms policies.”
A letter sent yesterday to the Senate Judiciary Committee reiterated the coalition’s support for its three, concrete proposals: requiring every gun buyer to pass a background check; getting military-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines off our streets; and making gun trafficking a federal crime. The letter came in advance of a hearing held by the committee entitled, “What Should America Do About Gun Violence?”
Last week, a letter (attached) from more than 830 mayors to Congressional leadership asked for swift action on the Fix Gun Checks bill introduced by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), in an effort to close the enormous gap in current laws by requiring a criminal background check for every gun sale. Background checks are the only systematic way to stop felons, domestic abusers and other dangerous people from buying firearms. These checks are instantaneous and highly effective. Since its inception, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has blocked firearms purchases at licensed dealerships by millions of individuals who are barred by federal law from owning them. But criminals and other prohibited purchasers avoid these checks by buying firearms, including online and at gun shows, from unlicensed private sellers who are not required by federal law to conduct the checks. Millions of gun sales — estimated at more than 40 percent of the U.S. annual total — are conducted through private sellers.
For more information on the Demand a Plan campaign, visit: http://www.demandaplan.org/
For more information on Mayors Against Illegal Guns, visit: http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/html/home/home.shtml