Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl issued a press release Thursday calling for residents to support a nationwide assault weapons ban.
Tisdahl said she “wholeheartedly” supported the proposed Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, a bill that U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced in Congress Thursday. If passed, the bill would stop the sale, transfer, importation and manufacture of military-style assault weapons.
“We have too many guns in our communities and we must work together to get them off the streets,” Tisdahl wrote in the press release. “As a mayor, I am bestowed with the duty to keep my community safe and these common sense solutions will help go a long way in fulfilling that solemn responsibility.”
In her press release, Tisdahl urged residents to join a social media campaign supporting the Assault Weapons Ban, organized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Supporters are asked to tweet “I Stand with @usmayors and@SenFeinstein. Support the Ban on Assault Weapons Bill NOW! #MayorsStandWithFeinstein.”
Meanwhile, another national campaign has sprung up opposing the assault weapons ban. Patch blogger Eric Lieberman, who ran for state representative last fall, posted a link to a petition opposing the bill. The petition argues that Feinstein’s bill would violate second amendment rights to keep and bear arms.
“As we watch the continuing erosion of our ‘inalienable’ rights, I think it is important to stand firm on the fragments of rights we still have,” Lieberman wrote. “Right or wrong on the Feinstein bill, I think we still have the right for people to express a differing view. And so, in defense of the First Amendment, I am posting a link to [the] petition.”
Locally, there have been several deaths to gun violence in the past year, including the death of 14-year-old Dajae Coleman, who was shot near Evanston Township High School in a case of mistaken identity on Sept. 22, 2012.
Following Coleman’s death, city officials agreed to organize a gun buyback program, an idea spearheaded by fifth ward community leader Carolyn Murray. In a terrible irony, her own 19-year-old son, , bringing even greater urgency to the gun buyback program .
Officials netted 45 weapons during the event, which, by coincidence, took place one day after . Speaking to Patch during the gun buyback, Murray said she was pleased with the results but urged other community members to get involved.
“I would like people to get involved in their community, in their block,” she said. “If you weren’t active before, now is the time to start.”