The United States Conference of Mayors President Trenton, NJ Mayor Douglas H. Palmer released the following statement in response to the Virginia Tech University shooting:
“The nation’s mayors express their deepest sympathy for the victims, parents, families, teachers and friends of the students killed yesterday at Virginia Tech University.
“April 16, 2007 is a national day of tragedy. Just as our country and our people united to address the reality of terrorism after the attacks of 9-11, we must unite now to address the reality of gun violence that continues to ravage cities, suburbs and rural areas alike.
“We need a common-sense approach to guns in America. We must keep illegal guns off our streets and away from children and criminals. We must allow the police to do their jobs and trace illegal guns. We must close the gunshow loopholes, which allow guns to be sold without background checks. And we must prohibit the sale of military-style assault weapons.
“At a time when crime is on the rise in our nation’s cities, mayors and police chiefs urge the federal government to stand with us to make our cities safer by restoring programs that have proven effective in the fight against crime.
“Congress and the President must act now. This cannot and must not be an issue of political grandstanding. Common sense action is possible. Our great nation has always risen to the major challenges it faces. Our leaders must rise now and act in the memory of those who have died, and all that mourn.”
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,139 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. The primary roles of the Conference of Mayors are to promote the development of effective national urban/suburban policy; strengthen federal-city relationships; ensure that federal policy meets urban needs; provide mayors with leadership and management tools; and create a forum in which mayors can share ideas and information. More information about the Conference is available at http://www.usmayors.org/.