Tesei’s ‘courageous move’ earns thank-you from Greenwich council

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

The Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence collected signatures of 324 residents asking the Board of Selectmen to join Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Last week, First Selectman Tesei did just that. We applaud him for publicly standing up and joining this bipartisan coalition of more than 1,000 mayors working to make America’s communities safer.

The selectmen passed a resolution mirroring the MAIG Statement of Principles, but we believe joining carries more significance. MAIG is effectively mobilizing people across the country to advocate for common-sense measures.

It’s working. After years of NRA-led opposition, the U.S. Senate finally confirmed a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Imagine the outcry if Greenwich didn’t have a chief of police for that long.

Some believe MAIG merely reflects the personal agenda of NYC Mayor Bloomberg and has the ultimate goal of confiscating everybody’s guns. But there’s no evidence of this. MAIG advocates for common-sense measures like enforcing existing laws to the maximum extent possible, enabling law enforcement to share trace data, targeting gun dealers who knowingly sell to straw purchasers, and supporting new legislation targeting illegal guns.

Membership in MAIG has grown nearly 20% the past year. It has 1.5 million grass-roots supporters, making it the country’s largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization. This attests to its effectiveness and it’s why we asked Mr. Tesei to join.

We respect those who aren’t comfortable with the aggressive advocacy of MAIG calling out legislators standing in the way of common-sense gun regulation. But we believe the actions of MAIG aren’t unreasonably aggressive in the face of the epidemic of gun violence contrasted with the complete lack of progress in the U.S. Congress on universal background checks for firearm purchases.

Despite near-universal support across the nation, a minority in the U.S. Senate blocked passage of the Manchin-Toomey Amendment for universal background checks. The House leadership has refused to schedule a vote on the companion Thompson-King bill, which has 184 co-sponsors.

With Mr. Tesei’s courageous move, Greenwich is adding its voice to those who believe the status quo is unacceptable. Thank you, Mr. Tesei.

Kelly Bridges
Dan Edelstein
Jonathan Perloe
Elizabeth Perry

The authors are members of the Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence.

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