Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic is among eight mayors from across the country who sent a letter to federal leaders this week, calling on them to pass gun control measures and take other steps to prevent a repeat of the bloodshed in Connecticut.
“Too many times this year, mayors have expressed shock at a mass shooting,” the mayors wrote in the letter to President Barack Obama and congressional members. “Even more frequently, many of us must cope with the gun violence that occurs on the streets of our cities.’’
The mayors, who like Plusquellic are all current or past leaders of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, urged federal leaders to adopt legislation banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, strengthen the national system for background checks and toughen penalties for straw purchases of weapons, which involve a person buying a weapon for someone else.
The mayors also said they support “establishing a bipartisan commission that looks at the broader issues of violence in our country” and strengthening and providing better funding to the mental-health system to better identify troubled individuals and get them the help they need.
“We believe that with this latest national tragedy and the high incidence of gun violence that continues to plague our streets, we have reached a tipping point,” the mayors wrote. “The nation’s mayors pledge to work with you to build a safer America for our children and all our citizens.”
The other mayors who signed the letter govern Philadelphia; New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Sacramento, Calif.; Charleston, S.C.; and Boston.
— Stephanie Warsmith