Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone Thursday joined Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and other members of the Massachusetts delegation of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition in an effort to pressure Congress to enact national legislation that would decrease gun violence.
“Earlier this week, I asked the City of Boston to stand with us on guns and say enough is enough,” said Menino at the Parkman House on Beacon Street in Boston. “As Mayors, we have a responsibility to our residents to do all we can to make our neighborhoods safer. Today, we’re calling on every community in Massachusetts to stand with us. We must keep the pressure on Congress to take swift action.”
Menino praised the Massachusetts federal delegation for signing onto the Fix Guns Check Act, which would require background checks for every gun sale in America.
Since the Newtown school shooting tragedy, 14 more Massachusetts mayors have joined the coalition, which now includes 26 mayors from the commonwealth and more than 850 mayors from across the country.
Curtatone, chair of the Metro Mayors Coalition, recounted recent shootings in Arizona, Aurora, Colo., and Alabama. "Shootings in schools, shootings of bystanders, are all too common. Our goal is completely eliminate these tragedies." Curtatone said 84 percent of Americans support stronger gun laws.
"We support the 2nd Amendment and the right to own a gun," added Curtatone, echoing similar statements from other mayors at the event.
A letter sent Wednesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee stated the coalition’s support for its three goals: requiring every gun buyer to pass a background check, getting military-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines off the streets, and making gun trafficking a federal crime.
Braintree Mayor Joseph Sullivan, president of the Mass Mayors Association, said high-capacity gun magazines should only be in war zones. "We support the right to bear arms, just do it the right way." Sullivan was also wearing a blue and yellow wristband that said "Newtown" and "We R One". Sullivan added that mental health facilities also need support to help address mental health issues that lead to violence.
Malden Mayor Gary Christenson said he wants the attorney general's wiretap law expanded to give investigative bodies more tools to fight crime. "What has been proven to me ... We need help ... Law enforcement officials need help."
Other mayors in attendance at today’s event included: Mayor William F. Scanlon of Beverly, Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. of Everett, Mayor Lisa Wong of Fitchburg, Mayor Patrick Ó. Murphy of Lowell, Mayor Gary Christenson of Malden, Mayor Michael J. McGlynn of Medford, Mayor Robert J. Dolan of Melrose, Mayor Jonathan Mitchell of New Bedford, Mayor Setti Warren of Newton, Mayor Thomas Koch of Quincy, Mayor Daniel Rizzo of Revere, Mayor Kimberley Driscoll of Salem, and Mayor Scott D. Galvin of Woburn.
The mayors also taped a public service announcement, which will be aired statewide.