(Annapolis, MD March 23, 2021): In just shy of three months we will cut the ribbon on the Guardian of the First Amendment memorial in Annapolis. The memorial is to honor journalists and the role of a free press. Annapolis might not have this memorial without having endured a mass shooting. On June 28, 2018, five staff and journalists were murdered in their workplace in Annapolis by a gunman with a grievance.
Last week eight were killed in a workplace murder spree, six of whom were possibly targeted for being women of Asian descent. Yesterday, ten killed at the grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. We grieve the senseless loss of life.
Every community has its own marker for these murders: a high school, a movie theater, an elementary school, a concert, a nightclub, a church, a synagogue, a post office, a college, a shopping mall.
But they all share a commonality: guns. Easy access to guns like the AR 15, which increases the fatality rate of these events.
As we reopen our country in a post-pandemic era, I know that America will return to more mass shootings. It’s a matter of time and chance that this horror visits a neighborhood near you.
On average, nearly 40,000 Americans die from gun violence each year. This generation of young people is growing up with a unique trauma that legislators have the ability to end. I urge our U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to pass gun safety legislation including:
- Enhanced background checks and requiring background checks for all purchases
- End state-to-state reciprocity
- Prohibit domestic abusers and violent convicted felons from obtaining firearms
- Strengthen penalties for gun trafficking
- Prohibit blueprints for 3D firearms
- Prohibit bump stocks
- Limit magazine capacity
- Support gun safety technology requiring safe storage to prevent accidental deaths
When these measures pass both chambers of Congress, I urge President Biden to sign it.
Mayor of Annapolis
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