|By PR Newswire||
|August 28, 2013 11:51 AM EDT||
Participants Urge Congress To Support Tough-On-Crime Background Checks Legislation, Thank Mayor Menino for Leadership in National Fight To Reduce Gun Violence
Rally is Part of "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence" Bus Tour; www.NoMoreNames.org
BOSTON, Aug. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, members of the state's Congressional delegation, Massachusetts members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, local families of gun violence victims, law enforcement, gun owners, and faith leaders held a rally at Faneuil Hall today as part of the "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence" – a 25-state national bus tour over a period of 100 days aimed at urging America's leaders to support common-sense gun policies. Participants came together Wednesday to voice their continued support for comprehensive background checks, and they urged Congress to take another look at bipartisan background checks legislation that would help keep guns out of the wrong hands.
Participants also honored Mayor Menino for his leadership in the fight to reduce gun violence in Boston and across the country. Since 2006, Menino has co-chaired Mayors Against Illegal Guns with New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Over the last seven years since the bipartisan coalition was formed, it has grown from 15 members to more than 1,000 mayors and 1.5 million grassroots supporters nationwide – including 30 members and more than 51,000 supporters in the Bay State.
After the rally, advocates and attendees read the names of victims of gun violence in Massachusetts and those who have been killed with guns since the Newtown mass shooting in December 2012. Every day, 33 Americans are murdered with guns across the nation.
"Too many innocent people have lost their lives to gun violence – not only on our streets and in our neighborhoods, but throughout our country," Mayor Menino said. "Mayors are on the front lines in this fight to crack down on gun crime and keep our communities safe. But with 33 Americans being killed by guns every day, this is a national epidemic that demands a national response from Washington. Along with the families of gun violence victims, law enforcement, and residents from across our city, today I am calling on our leaders in Congress to stand up for the people they represent and support common-sense gun laws."
"It's long past time for Congress to pass sensible measures to reduce gun violence, and I applaud Mayor Menino and Mayors Against Illegal Guns for their tireless efforts to make our neighborhoods safer," said Senator Warren. "I will continue fighting for common-sense legislation, including stronger background check laws, that will protect our children and our communities."
"We don't have to accept this epidemic of gun violence in our country," said Senator Markey. "It is not pre-ordained. It is preventable. Passing sane gun laws starts with the army of activists engaged in this movement to keep our kids and communities safe."
"Far too many lives have been lost to gun violence and too many families are grieving the absence of a loved one taken too soon," said Congressman Capuano. "Even if we can't stop every murder or tragic accident, we can continue to raise our voices for common-sense gun control, including comprehensive background checks. I commend all of the activists who aren't giving up and who are sharing their stories all across this country. Your determination will help build support for stronger protections."
"I am proud to stand with Mayor Menino and my colleagues today in support of comprehensive background checks," said Congressman Lynch. "Such common-sense measures will reduce gun violence, save lives and protect our communities. We've witnessed enough senseless violence; Congress must act now."
"Families across the nation are asking loudly and clearly for Congress to make the safety of their children and grandchildren paramount. We have the opportunity and the responsibility to pass common-sense legislation like background checks to prevent senseless acts of violence that devastate families and communities," said Congressman John Tierney. "Empowered by the conviction of these families, we cannot let a small number of legislators block measures like background checks, or other efforts to improve safety, such as personalized handgun technologies, and reinstating the ban on assault weapons."
"After my son was shot to death just blocks away from our home five years ago, I saw firsthand how gun violence can tear apart families and leave a gaping void in the lives of those it affects," said Kim Odom, whose 13-year-old son Steven was shot and killed in Dorchester in 2007. "Every day, in urban and suburban communities alike, far too many of our children are losing their lives at the barrel of a gun in the wrong hands. To honor the memory of my son and to prevent other parents from experiencing the anguish of losing a child, it's time for our elected officials to support common-sense measures – like comprehensive background checks – that will help save lives."
"As a gun owner, I know that with my Constitutional right to bear arms comes a responsibility to keep guns away from dangerous individuals," said local gun owner Austin Dorr, who participated in Wednesday's rally. "Background checks are the single most effective way to do just that, which is why 82 percent of gun owners nationwide support this sensible measure."
Participants in Wednesday's event included:
- Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Co-Chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns
- Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey
- U.S. Representatives Michael Capuano, John Tierney, and Stephen Lynch
- Mayors Warren of Newton, Davis of Cambridge, Rizzo of Revere, Holaday of Newburyport, and McGlynn of Medford – all members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns
- Kim Odom, whose son Steven was gunned down in Dorchester in 2007
- Austin Dorr, local gun owner
Along with 15 other states and the District of Columbia, Massachusetts goes beyond federal law by requiring background checks before private handgun sales. In turn, the state has seen the public safety benefits of enacting this common-sense measure. In states that already require background checks for all handgun sales:
- Thirty-eight percent fewer women are shot to death by an intimate partner than in other states, while the rate murdered by other means was nearly identical.
- The firearm suicide rate was 49 percent lower than in other states, even though people committed suicide in other ways at almost precisely the same rate.
- Thirty-nine percent fewer law enforcement officers were shot to death with handguns.
The No More Names tour provides an opportunity for the more than 90 percent of Americans who support background checks to drive home a message to our elected officials that our country needs common-sense gun laws. At each stop, participants are holding rallies with a broad coalition of supporters – including police, survivors, domestic violence prevention advocates, mayors, and other elected officials – to commemorate those we've lost and call on our leaders to stand with the American people on sensible gun policies. They both applaud senators who voted to support comprehensive and enforceable background checks, and urge those who opposed this measure to take a second look.
States on the tour include: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin. For more information, please visit www.NoMoreNames.org.
About Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Since its creation in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 members to more than 1,000 mayors from across the country. The coalition has more than 1.5 million grassroots supporters – including more than 51,000 in Massachusetts – making us the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country. The bipartisan organization, co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, has united the nation's mayors around these common goals: protecting communities by holding gun offenders accountable; demanding access to crime gun trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat gun trafficking; and working with legislators to fix weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other dangerous people to get guns. Learn more at www.MayorsAgainstIllegalGuns.org.
 Colorado and Delaware enacted legislation in 2013, and did not require background checks during the period analyzed.
 U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Supplementary Homicide Reports, 2010.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2005) [cited 2012 Dec. 20].
 Federal Bureau of Investigation. LEOKA Database, 2001-2011 (Accessed Mar. 2013).
SOURCE Mayors Against Illegal Guns