At the memorial service on Sunday evening for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims, President Barack Obama said: “If there is even one step we can take to save another child or another parent or another town from the grief that has visited Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek and Newtown and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that—then surely we have an obligation to try.”
A bipartisan coalition of more than 750 mayors—including seven local ones— has joined forces with over 700,000 Americans and more than 100 survivors of deadly shootings, including the mass shootings mentioned in Obama's remarks to urge the president to put forward an agenda that is rooted in common sense and will make it harder for dangerous people to possess guns, and easier for police and prosecutors to crack down on them.
The local borough mayors who signed the Dec. 19 letter are:
- J. Edward Cook, Edgewood
- John A. Thompson, Wilkinsburg
- James S. Perry, Chalfant
- Paul H. McKenna, Churchill
- Louis J. Payne, East Pittsburgh
- Luke Ravenstahl, Pittsburgh
- Adam R. Forgie, Turtle Creek
In the letter, the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition calls for congressional action to require every gun buyer to pass a criminal background check, get high-capacity rifles and ammunition magazines off the streets, and make gun trafficking a federal crime.
The mayors' group called on the federal administration to take immediate action to curb gun violence by: appointing a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; prosecuting prohibited purchasers who attempt to buy firearms, ammunition or high-capacity magazines; requiring federal agencies to report records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS); and repealing "Tiahrt restrictions," which are riders to the federal budget that restrict access to federal gun data.
Do you support the stand taken by these local mayors? Tell us in the comments section.