With the US Conference of Mayors underway, high-profile city leaders are joining the White House’s call for increased gun control:
“Far too often it is the mayor who gets the call about a tragic crime committed with an illegal gun that’s resulted in a loss of life,” Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, the president of the conference, said in a speech. “It may be the life of a child. A police officer. A young black man. A young woman. It could be anyone in our cities. But it’s the mayor who visits the family members who have had their hearts torn out, and the mayor who attends funeral after funeral after funeral.”
Mayor Ron Littlefield of Chattanooga, Tenn., recalled a police officer who was shot to death while responding to a robbery at a pawnshop. Mayor Sly James of Kansas City, Mo., lamented what he called the “slow-motion mass murder” that claims the lives of more than 100 young people in his city each year. And Mayor R. T. Rybak of Minneapolis said he had “heard too many eulogies for amazing people whom I will never know.”
The mayors gave a standing ovation to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who praised the work they had done over the years on gun issues and urged them to push for the passage of the president’s proposals.
“There are some who say the most powerful voice in this debate belongs to the gun lobby and those who demand a stop to these common-sense approaches to save lives,” Mr. Biden told the Conference of Mayors. “I think they’re wrong.”