SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – After a deadly weekend of shootings, mayors across the country are addressing the high levels of gun violence and the steps that can be taken to protect Americans.
The United States Conference of Mayors sent a letter to President Joe Biden Tuesday asking for his help with America’s gun violence problem. Among those signing that letter was Savannah’s own Mayor Van Johnson.
The mayors collectively agreed they have done all they can on the local level, now it’s time to handle gun violence with the help from officials in our nation’s Capitol.
“We need leaders in Washington to wake up to this crisis,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said.
The U.S. saw another deadly weekend of gun violence that left 120 people shot dead. This has the U.S. Conference of Mayors calling on Congress and President Biden to take action against what they call a public health crisis.
“We will stand with him to drive Congress to get off the sidelines and do something about the 10’s of thousands of our fellow citizens who are shot dead every single year,” Whaley said.
Mayors said in the first five months of this year 8,100 people were killed in acts of gun violence. On Friday, there were four mass shootings in just six hours.
“Can we all agree that if someone has the right to carry a gun, can we all agree that I have the right not to be shot?” Johnson said.
Mayor Johnson joined a long list of mayors asking Congress to enact common-sense gun control legislation, create uniform laws on background checks and eliminate the use of guns for those who have a history of mental illness among other demands.
“During these times when we’re talking about international terrorism or talking about national terrorism we have to also talk about terrorism on the streets of our cities,” Johnson said.
“As political leaders especially those at the local level, we have a responsibility indeed an obligation to make sure that our residents the people that we are lucky to represent have the ability to feel safe,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
These mayors agree its not just a single city’s issue.
“It’s easy to look at local policy changes. If we don’t look for common elements across cities that are present everywhere, we can easily miss learning what we actually need to learn to beat this challenge,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said.
The mayors are also addressing illegal gun sales that happen on social media platforms. They say local law enforcement has limited tools to address this problem. Local mayors are asking the federal government to enforce actions to bring accountability to social media platforms.