Spurred on by Friday’s school shooting tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the U.S. Conference of Mayors — which currently boasts our own Michael Nutter as its president — has issued an open letter to both President Obama and Congress, calling for the same thing it’s been calling for ‘lo the last four decades: Tighter gun control laws. It reads, in part:
“Again and again and again, Americans are stunned by senseless acts of violence involving guns. Friday’s tragedy targeting young children in Newtown is incomprehensible. Too many times this year, mayors have expressed shock at a mass shooting. Even more frequently, many of us must cope with the gun violence that occurs on the streets of our cities. …
“The Conference has been calling for sensible gun laws to protect the public for more than 40 years. Mayors and police chiefs from cities of all sizes have worked together in this effort over the years.
“We urge you to take immediate action: the President to exercise his powers though Executive Order and Congress to introduce and pass legislation to make reasonable changes in our gun laws and regulations. Specifically we call on you to:
· Enact legislation to ban assault weapons and other high-capacity magazines being prepared by Senator Dianne Feinstein and others;
· Strengthen the national background check system and eliminate loopholes in it; and
· Strengthen the penalties for straw purchases of guns. …
“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 nation’s mayors pledge to work with you to build a safer America for our children and all of our citizens.”
The full text can be read at usmayors.org.