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Elk Grove Mayor Signs on to Letter Seeking Stronger Gun Control

Newly sworn-in Mayor Gary Davis says he supports stronger gun control laws.

Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis announced Tuesday night he had backed a letter from the U.S. Conference of Mayors calling for tighter gun control laws.

"Today I joined Mayors across the nation calling on the President and Congress to enact stronger gun laws," Davis wrote on Twitter.

In the letter, the Conference of Mayors calls for three specific actions:

  • Enact legislation to ban assault weapons and other high-capacity magazines being prepared by Senator Dianne Feinstein and others; 
  • Strengthen the national background check system and eliminate loopholes in it; and 
  • Strengthen the penalties for straw purchases of guns. 

The letter comes less than a week after a mass killing at an elementary school in Newtown, CT. It goes on to say that Congress should increase funding for mental health care and establish a commission to look at violence in the country as a whole.

"We know that preventing gun violence – whether it is a mass shooting in a school or a murder on a street corner – will take much more than strengthening our gun laws," the letter says. "We need to reverse the culture of violence in our nation so that a violent act isn’t the first response to settling a difference or compensating for a wrong."

But gun control laws shouldn't wait for other improvements to happen first, the letter says.

Davis' name doesn't appear on the letter itself–it's signed by mayors who hold leadership roles in the Conference of Mayors, like Philidelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, its president, and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, its second vice president. The names of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also appear on the letter.

Download the letter here [PDF].

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John December 19, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Thats all fine and dandy, but how exactly will this legislation address the firearms that are already circulating in society right now.....many of which are in the hands of thugs in the ghetto....where the VAST majority are used in crimes?? While these mass shootings are horrible, they account for a minimal amount of actual shootings that occur nationwide. 99% of gun crimes are not carried out by the person who actualy own/purchased the guns. They were stolen, just like the ones used at Sandy hook...the kid stole them from his mother and killed her before going on the shooting spree. The guns that are in circulation now will never be purged enough to make a difference....Banning these guns will only make it more difficult for those people who want to legally purchase them, not the thugs who just buy them off the street or steal them!!
Tom Waltman December 19, 2012 at 05:40 PM
The 2nd and 3rd actions are necessary and should receive bi-partisan support. The 1st, however, has to be further defined before it will get much traction nationwide. As in the Brady Bill, "assault weapon" meant many kinds of weapons commonly used for hunting and other sporting purposes that had nothing to do with the intent of the law. The breathe of the bill made criminals out of otherwide law abiding people. It was easy pickings for the NRA and their supporters in the government. Any weapons ban should be crafted in a way that does not criminalize weapons and behavior outside of the intent of the bill. It should also allow for the ownership of historical weapons that are rendered non-fireable through some acceptable means that doesn't destroy the value of the weapon. Reasonable gun control can be managed in our country, if we allow both sides to engage in rational discussion. I have absolutely no real hope that rational discussion is possible at this point, and that will probably doom any attempt to create an effective reduction of non-sporting, purely military-type weapons in our nation. That would be a shame.
Sarah Johnson December 19, 2012 at 08:56 PM
It gives me hope that long time high profile gun advocates are coming forward in support of tougher regulation. I am not against guns, but we have to shut down the military style assault weapons for the good of our children and grandchildren. We must remember that there are thousands of these guns already out there. We need to stop selling them from here on. Also, we need to work on how to get help for disturbed people earlier, before these horrible acts occur.
Tom Waltman December 19, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Sarah, mental health reform is something I think we all agree on. I hope we can manage to get serious about changing our approach to mental health issues. Jail is NOT the place for many of these people. The streets aren't either. I don't know what we can do, but we can't continue on the path we have been on for the past 30 years. It won't matter what you do with gun control, if you have mentally unstable people who are becoming increasingly violent and anti-social out there losing touch with reality. There are simply too many other ways to express their desire to commit mass murder. THAT is something we all want to prevent.
public safety retiree December 20, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Well.... thank you Mayor. I feel.... umm, so much safer already.
public safety retiree December 20, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Maybe you could write a letter to WalMart, too? Please? Please?
Think Free December 20, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Good job. I support a ban on weapons of mass destruction and armor!
Greg December 20, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Yea right -- yet again a knee-jerk-ride-the-passion-of-the-moment-spotlight-on-me-fixing-it (that will probably increase gvt revenues and bureaucracy). If *existing* laws had been effective/obeyed, none of it would have happened. So the fix is make even more laws? How about dumping existing "gun free zone" laws as a first step, because they set up a "safe" target for the nutters to exploit (check that aspect of the assorted news stories). Police will protect? Play this movie in your head --- perp appears doing bad stuff --- find a phone (some places don't allow cell phones either) --- dial 911(hoping they have a good locating system)--- 911 operator assesses the situation with you (as the perp ignores you) -- decides what resources to dispatch --- they arrive from assorted locations, rendezvous, assess, and set up a perimeter -- then go in. I don't think the bad guy is going to play fair by politely waiting.
Think Free December 20, 2012 at 05:52 PM
So John, My question is so you want to legally be able to get an assault weapon because criminals can have them? Hmm and you would carry this thing around with you and use it to protect your family? Or is it because your a spoiled brat and will justify what you want when you want it? and ignore the blood on your hands of those children because of your "wants". If the mother of the mentally ill child would have locked away her guns (like they teach in gun safety class) or not taken him to the range and glorified weapons. We the American people have done it your way long enough. Insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting different results! Enough already! Oh btw most mass murders are committed by legally obtained weapons.
Think Free December 20, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Passion of the moment? How about the last 60 mass murders moment? Most done with legally obtained weapons!
Greg December 20, 2012 at 09:10 PM
@think free: Your posting has some truth to it, but does not change the fact that existing laws were ignored by those committing the crimes. Found what i think is your list of 60 *shootings* (not multiple murders -- different list). Random check on the details of the incidents----legally obtained firearms definition appeared to be a bit off (i.e. legal firearms legally obtained at some time by somebody -- possession chain not necessarily complete).
Think Free December 20, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Greg you must be getting your info from Rush Limbaugh or Faux news Of the 142 guns possessed by the killers, more than three quarters were obtained legally. The arsenal included dozens of assault weapons and semiautomatic handguns. Just as Jeffrey Weise used a .40-caliber Glock to slaughter students in Red Lake, Minnesota, in 2005, so too did James Holmes, along with an AR-15 assault rifle, when blasting away at his victims in a darkened movie theater. In Newtown, Connecticut, Adam Lanza wielded two handguns and a .223 Bushmaster semiautomatic assault rifle as he massacred 20 school children and six adults. Half of the cases involved school or workplace shootings (12 and 19, respectively); the other 31 cases took place in locations including shopping malls, restaurants, government buildings, and military bases. Forty four of the killers were white males. Only one of them was a woman. (See Goleta, Calif., in 2006.) The average age of the killers was 35, though the youngest among them was a mere 11 years old. (See Jonesboro, Ark., in 1998.) A majority were mentally ill—and displayed signs of it before setting out to kill.
Think Free December 20, 2012 at 10:06 PM
No Greg, We have tried it your way. Time to do something different! Insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting different results. The American people want change and those that do not have the blood of those children on their hands because we wanted a discussion about this four mass murders ago
Tom Waltman December 20, 2012 at 10:24 PM
So we just don't allow all 35 year old mentally ill white males access to weapons. Multiple problems solved. Charge on Think Free!
Think Free December 20, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Read all of it Tom
Think Free December 20, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Here is a list of gun related deaths around the world Looks like the US is right up there with the worst of the third world countries http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate
Greg December 20, 2012 at 10:59 PM
No, I respected your statement by googling 60 mass murders and found very few that had the number -- and those singled out guns as the means. Some of those had obvious editorial slants (ala your Faux/Rush critique) -- the one I used linked to assorted local sources provided supplementary details that I considered more credible. Yes, some of your specifics were there. When I dropped the "60", I found many more that used other means. I was surprised at the variety and the percentages. I agree with your"insanity" thing (2:06 pm) -- and feel that yet another grandstanding politician wanting to make yet another law falls within that. I am quite open to cleaning up/ uncomplicating existing stuff, as long as it does not increase the target/ victimizing aspect of the law abiding citizen. The mental health aspect definitely needs to be part of the picture. We no longer have phsyc institutions to keep those who are not (yet, in some cases) criminals off the streets. Who decides -- and by what criteria -- who is a nut case? If someone goes to family counseling, will they be barred from ever having a weapon?
Think Free December 20, 2012 at 11:12 PM
I personally asked our mayor to ban assault weapons the same day he signed the pact with the Mayors, as have many others, I think this time is is not the politicians . It is the people. As far as what changes should be made, we should look to other examples, such as Israel, Sweden, etc. It is all part of the discussion!
Darrin Smith December 21, 2012 at 08:21 AM
According to statistics straight from the FBI's website, we may want to also ban hands, feet, that caused more violent crime than any rifle. Then we also need to make sure we ban knives. Who really need 12 knives in their kitchen?!? Look at how many people used them to commit a violent act! We should limit knives to one DULL knife per household, and consider putting everybody in handcuffs so they don't use those dangerous fists. Then we'll have the perfect utopia. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-20
Darrin Smith December 21, 2012 at 08:54 AM
You are certainly Free of Thinking. You conveniently left out the mall shooting in Oregon just recently. Who stopped that nut job? The police? No. A citizen licensed to conceal carry drew his weapon, and in typical fashion as they always do, they kill themselves. Lesson? As soon as they are faced with opposition, its game over. Putting a "GUN FREE ZONE" sign only stops law abiding citizens, and sends a message to a lunatic that its "EASY TARGET ZONE". What is so difficult to understand that criminals find ways around the LAWS. They do not follow laws. GOOD law abiding citizens follow laws. In every state, city, etc that has the strictest gun regulation crime is goes up. These tragic incidents should not be an alarm to further restrict gun rights, it should be a call for the many and majority of willing american citizens to responsibly use their 2nd amendment right to bear arms and confront that lunatic that attempts to harm fellow citizens. Criminals are cowards, they want easy targets, not a challenge. Arm that principal, arm the teachers that are willing to be armed and trained. THAT saves lives. Not some new law that will just be ignored by another nut job.
Darrin Smith December 21, 2012 at 08:59 AM
You say we should look to Isreal. I agree. Israeli teachers are armed with FULLY AUTOMATIC weapons which are not even legal in the US. You see woman walking down the street with "assault rifles" (which is a manufactured term). With this kind of logic, we should be banning fertilizer (Oklahoma bombing), air planes, cars and alcohol. How is the war on drugs working out? Impossible to find drugs anywhere right? Yeah legislation on guns should work out real well too. Canada is doing away with their entire gun registry system for a reason. 1) It doesn't work and 2) its costing way too much. When Canada has more common sense than us you know we have a problem. Keep up the Thinking!
public safety retiree December 23, 2012 at 02:59 AM
I fail to see the name and photo of Mayor Davis on the member list of mayorsagainstillegalguns.org. Seems like it's morphing into mayors- against- legal- guns, anyway.
Dev Dog March 03, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Think Free least you got part of it right Lanza did have 2 handguns and he did have a semi auto rifle AR (Armilite Rifle) not Automatic Rifle, but not used in the Shooting it was in the trunk of his car as first reported but then quickly never mentioned again.
Jolly Jo March 03, 2013 at 08:59 PM
You do realize that the idea that the semi automatic rifle wasn't used has been thoroughly debunked.

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