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Gun control: What politicians do instead of something

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is challenging The Alliance of Mayor’s Against Guns:

U.S. mayors, who have pledged to reduce the criminal use of firearms, continue to ignore the firearm industry’s offer of assistance and cooperation. Instead, the leaders of the mayors’ effort seem more interested in media events than real progress, according to officials of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

That assessment came after an Oct. 5 press conference in Boston, where New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino announced the expansion of their mayoral coalition against illegal guns. NSSF officials called the press conference “political grandstanding.”

Lawrence Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel, challenged the coalition members to engage in a constructive dialogue with the firearm industry to advance the goal shared by all Americans of reducing the criminal acquisition and misuse of firearms.

The mayors’ coalition is an outgrowth of a national summit on illegal guns cohosted by Mayors Bloomberg and Menino in April. Mayor Bloomberg rebuffed NSSF’s request to attend the summit.

“Unfortunately, the firearms industry was not permitted to educate this budding coalition about the various programs we have developed with law enforcement that are working to reduce criminal misuse of firearms, as well as reduce firearm accidents,” Keane said.

Keane also expressed disappointment in Mayor Menino’s failure to follow through on a pledge to form a cooperative relationship with the industry after ordering his lawsuit against the industry dismissed in 2002. At the time, Boston acknowledged in a court filing that “members of the industry … are genuinely concerned with and are committed to the safe, legal and responsible sale and distribution and use of their products.”

The city said it believed “that through cooperation and communication (Boston and the firearm industry) … can reduce the criminal acquisition of firearms.” Repeated letters from NSSF to Boston officials, as recently as last October, have gone unanswered, according to Keane.

“Members of the firearms industry remain as committed today to working with mayors toward our shared goal of reducing crimes committed with firearms as we did when Boston dropped its lawsuit, and as we were when Mayor Bloomberg put politics ahead of cooperation,” Keane said.

Based on a number of successful programs, Keane said the industry is challenging every member of the mayors’ coalition against illegal guns, “many of whom we have worked with in the past on firearm safety programs, to take the high road and engage with us in a constructive dialogue.”

This approach, Keane points out, will advance the goal of reducing the number of firearms that fall into the hands of criminals.

“The path forward remains one of cooperation and communication, not publicity stunts and overheated rhetoric,” Keane said.

One Response to “Gun control: What politicians do instead of something”

  1. BobG Says:

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