Following the tragic shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, CT, Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl was among hundreds of mayors in the U.S. who signed a letter to President Obama calling for greater gun control.
Dated Dec. 19, the letter urged Obama to “make it harder for dangerous people to possess guns, and easier for police and prosecutors to crack down on them.”
“As mayors, we are charged with keeping our communities safe,” the letter read. “But too many of us have sat with mothers and fathers of children killed with guns. Twenty-four children enrolled in public schools in your hometown of Chicago were shot to death just last year.”
In Evanston, three people were shot and killed by guns within the last three months, while another person was shot and critically injured. Last weekend, the city hosted a gun buyback program that was originally announced by Mayor Tisdahl at a community forum following the shooting death of 14-year-old Dajae Coleman in September. Police reported that they collected 45 guns from participants at the event.
Including Tisdahl, more than 750 mayors around the country have joined the bipartisan coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In Illinois, the mayors of Addison, Arlington Heights, Maywood, Normal, North Chicago, Rockford and Waukegan have also signed the letter.
The coalition argues that Obama should work with Congress to pass laws requiring every gun buyer to pass a criminal background check, review the federal ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004 and make gun trafficking a federal crime, among other actions.
“In the past few days, the American people came together in a national outpouring of grief and sympathy for the families of victims slain in the mass shooting in Newtown. We share in that grief,” the letter concludes. “But our constituents are also outraged and looking for leadership from the White House. We look forward to working with you to find a solution to gun violence in our country.”