Mayors have it right
Two months ago, after President Obama announced his intention to vigorously pursue measures to tighten gun control laws in WhH DIWHUPDWh RI WhH VODuJhWHU RI 20 fiUVW-JUDGHUV DnG VLx DGuOWV DW a Newtown, Conn., school, members of Mayors Against Illegal duns were quick to echo the president’s sentiments.
Federal legislators were already heeding the cries for more common sense gun control. Some, such as U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Pa., had changed their stance on the need for gun control reform shortly after Dec. 14, 2012. That’s when 20-yearROG $GDP /DnzD RSHnHG fiUH wLWh Dn $5-15 VWyOH BuVhPDVWHU VHPL-DuWRPDWLF ULflH DnG SuPSHG 150 URunGV LnWR 20 VWuGHnWV and six faculty and staff members at Sandy Hook blementary School, killing them in a matter of minutes before killing himself. He had earlier killed his mother at home.
In February, Casey noted he was haunted by the fact that the children were shot “with a high-power weapon with very powerful ammunition at close range ... over and over again.”
“That reality sunk into me in ways that I don’t think I’ve ever been affected by a public policy issue before,” he said.
Casey said he was also haunted by a TV news report that showed Lanza’s likely path inside the school.
“I think the evidence will show … that his intention was to kill every child in that school,” Casey said.
Needless to say, Pennsylvania’s Democratic senator is on board with proposed legislation to require background checks for all gun purchases, regardless of sales venue. MayorsAgainst Illegal duns now wants to make sure Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, and U.S. senators in 12 other states will understand the need for universal background checks.
Last week the coalition began airing a $12 million television ad featuring a gun owner saying that he, like more than 90 percent of Americans, supports comprehensive background checks of persons purchasing guns.
“For me guns are for hunting and protecting my family. I EHOLHYH Ln WhH 6HFRnG $PHnGPHnW DnG ,’OO fiJhW WR SURWHFW LW. 7hDW LV why , wLOO fiJhW IRU EDFNJURunG FhHFNV, VR WhH FULPLnDOV and the dangerously mentally ill can’t buy guns. That protects my rights and my family,” says the man in the ad as he sits in the back of a pickup truck with a shotgun.
The coalition, which has more than 900 mayors as members and more than 1.4 million grassroots supporters, has noted that about 40 percent of U.S. gun transfers are conducted by unlicensed private sellers who are not required to conduct federal background checks and often do business at gun shows and on the Internet.
March 28 the mayors’ coalition staged its National Day to Demand Action, expected to be the biggest anti-gun violence effort in history. More than 100 events were planned to bring attention to the need for tighter gun control laws to curb violence. $OVR, SHWLWLRn GULYHV wHUH FRnGuFWHG DnG 6HnDWH GLVWULFW RIfiFHV inundated with calls, urging legislators to support expanded background checks and other common sense gun legislation.
We applaud the noise members of Mayors Against Illegal duns are making to bring attention to the need for long-overdue gun control reform, and we will continue making noise about it, right along with them.
Journal Register News Service