In light of the tragic Newtown, Connecticut shooting, a large group of U.S. mayors is working to keep illegal guns out of dangerous hands.
This bipartisan coalition of more than 720 mayors from across the nation call themselves Mayors Against Illegal Guns and their effort is known as “Demand A Plan To End Gun Violence.”
The coalition is suggesting three things to legislatures in Washington D.C. that they believe could solve the current gun policy problem in the United States.
Of the three things, one has to do with creating a federal statute that makes gun trafficking a federal crime.
Another area, which coalition Director Mark Glaze believes is one of the biggest solutions, involves making sure every gun buyer gets a background check.
“Right now 40% to 50% of gun buyers never do, it’s a huge loop hole and criminals exploit it,” said Glaze.
Glaze blames the National Rifle Association for the current relaxed regulations surrounding background checks in the nation.
Glaze said the NRA believes any gun regulation is a bad one and thus fights against making background checks mandatory for all gun buyers. He said the NRA is on the wrong side of this debate.
“They’re on the wrong side of history and on the wrong side of a huge percentage of the American people who have no problem taking a couple of minutes out of their lives to get a background check if it’s going to keep the rest of us safe,” said Glaze.
The coalition also believes that some kind of ban on assault weapons needs to be created and enforced as well.
They are not talking about a ban like the one that was in place from 1994 to 2004 on assault rifles, but rather one that better defines what an assault weapon is.
Glaze said the fact of the matter is that these types of weapons really only belong in the hands of police officers and soldiers.
“These are essentially designed for killing a lot of people quickly. They have no other purpose,” said Glaze. “I hunted when I was a kid, my dad was a hunter, but no sportsman ought to be hunting with a gun like this and no hobbyist really needs one.”
Glaze believes this comes down to people making a choice on whether their right to owning an assault weapon is more important than keeping people safe.
For Glaze, the answer is easy. He wants to keep people safe.