By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,267)
One month after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in which 26 people were killed, Portland city officials gathered this morning at city hall to call on President Obama and members of Congress to take immediate steps to end the gun violence epidemic that kills 33 Americans every day.
Mayor Michael Brennan, in his opening remarks, asked Maine’s Congressional Delegation and the Maine Legislature to support common sense proposals for reducing gun crime. He asked for state and national leaders to “make it harder for dangerous people to buy guns and easier for police and prosecutors to stop them.” Mayor Brennan, a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, also called for three initiatives: (1) background checks for all gun sales, (2) bannaing mililtary-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and (3) making gun trafficing a federal crime. “We need to get military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines off our streets.”
Police Chief MIchael Sauschuck said that it is important that everyone of us remember the victims – 20 innocent children and 6 staff members – who followed their calling as teachers and lost their lives doing so. Maine is the safest state in the US, but everyone needs to be invested in this battle, he said.
Portland School Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk said that “allowing teachers to bring guns into the classroom is the wrong approach. Teachers are hired to teach students Guns can be intimidating for students.” Bill Harwood, Maine Citizens Against Handguns, said: “We are grateful for the city’s attention. Now we are speaking out and demanding action. The debate has begun. We will not rest until there is meaningful action to be sure it doesn’t happen again.”
A recently produced ad demanding a plan of action from Washington featuring family members of gun violence was shown. Please see www.DemandAPlan.org It will appear all over the State.
“We demand a plan,” said Mayor Brennan.