By Juhi Varma
Boston Mayor Tom Menino hosted a Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) press conference on Thursday, January 31. The meeting took place at Parkman House, a few doors down from the Massachusetts State House. Incidentally, this press conference took place a mere day after small business owner Shawn Clarke was shot in broad daylight on the streets of Malden.
In attendance were the MAIG’s Massachusetts delegation, including Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan of Braintree, president, Massachusetts Mayors’ Association; Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone of Somerville, Chair, Metro Mayors Coalition; Mayor William F. Scanlon of Beverly; Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. of Everett; 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 David J. Narkewicz of Northampton; Mayor Thomas Koch of Quincy; Mayor Daniel Rizzo of Revere; Mayor Kimberley Driscoll of Salem; and Mayor Scott D. Galvin of Woburn.
MAIG, formed in 2006, is a coalition of more than 800 mayors from across the United States. Their goal is to bring down the county’s high incidence of gun violence and stop firearms from falling into the hands of criminals. MAIG is trying to push Congress to pass national legislation that would decrease gun violence. Twenty-six mayors from Massachusetts have joined MAIG, 14 of them after the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
“President Ronald Regan once said, ‘When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat,’” Menino began. “So I’m happy to be here with the mayors of Massachusetts, to help keep everyone’s feet to the fire, for the need for common sense gun reform, swift action to save lives… 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 commended the Massachusetts federal delegation for passing the Fix Guns Check Act, which calls for compulsory background checks for every gun sale in America. Last week Congress received a letter, signed by more than 830 mayors, asking for swift action on the Fix Gun Checks bill introduced by Senator Charles Schumer.
“I was honored to be asked by Mayor Menino to join this collaborative of mayors committed to making our communities safer,” said Mayor Gary Christenson about the event. “Mayors Against Illegal Guns was one of the first causes I took up when I became Mayor in January of 2012. Given the recent tragedy in our community, when I spoke I wanted to provide assurance to the family of Shawn Clark that we were mourning with them, and I also wanted to convey the importance of working together to make sure our law enforcement officials have the tools and resources they need to combat violent crimes.”
MAIG also filmed a public service announcement demanding a plan to stop gun violence.