Monday, July 4, 2016

Gun Violence is the Scourge of the 21st Century - No City is Immune

When someone you love is taken violently and unexpectedly away from you, there is nothing that anyone can say to make it right. The truth is that gun violence has far reaching implications when it comes to its impact on our community.

Here in Plainfield as in many other places around the country, we have not been immune to our share of tragedy. We have lost loved ones, we have grieved and asked our share of questions. The sad fact is that no matter how dedicated our law enforcement officers are, and no matter how many improvements are made as we increase our vigilance in the war against criminal activity, there can never be one hundred percent surety of safety until hard action is taken in the fight for gun reform.

Eighty nine (89) people die from gun violence in the US every day... and that is a statistic that touches every single city in this country, there is no place that is immune, and while this may seem like an isolated fight here in our beloved city, it is not.... It is a battle that is being waged all around us as we fight as a nation to keep our loved ones safe. Part of our healing in recovering from tragedies caused by gun violence has to be the conviction that we will not accept this as our status quo, and we will do everything in our power to prevent it from happening again.

So, what can we do in Plainfield to join the fight in combating this 21st century scourge? How can we join the fray as we say, "not here--not now--not in our city...." There are no quick and easy solutions. 

As your Mayor, I want to tell you that you can walk out with assurance that a bullet will never find anyone you care about...but, as long as there are laws that put guns in the hands of unfit people, I can't do that....
I want to be able to tell you that you will never have to worry about an innocent bystander losing his life because he happened to be standing in the wrong spot...but, as long as Congress allows itself to be manipulated by special interest groups, I can't do that....

Until we have mandatory mental health screenings for potential gun owners, I can't do that....

Until there are laws governing renewal of gun permits that are at least as strict as those governing your driver's license, I can't do that....

As long as every day citizens are allowed to own and carry assault weapons, I can't do that....

Until there are laws that prohibit the flow of weapons of mass destruction into our community...I can't do that.

So, what can I do? I can continue to support our law enforcement officers and the work they do 100 percent. I promise you that there are new initiatives taking shape even now within the Plainfield Police Division to tackle the challenges we are facing. I will continue to work steadfastly with our State legislators to enact changes to our current gun laws. I will assemble some of the best minds, community leaders, professionals, and educators in the coming weeks to help chart our course forward and to lead us out of the valley of despair. I will work tirelessly and speak into every ear that I can in my capacity as Mayor to combat this scourge and I will not stop until we begin to see results from all these actions.

Plainfield, I cannot do it alone. I need your support as a community, as people who know what it is to suffer loss to this scourge. Use your vote to support legislators who have shown the will and desire to support meaningful change and much needed gun reform measures. Be watchful, and report strange and unusual behavior around your neighborhoods.  

If you see something, say something.  

We may not be able to prevent every violent act that occurs, but if we can prevent even one, it is another step toward eliminating the problem. 

 Creating One Plainfield - One Future,

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
City of Plainfield

No comments: