Democratic candidate for Mayor, Melina Kennedy, announced on Monday that she wants to try to tackle the problem of illegal guns in Indianapolis. Her campaign put out a news release on her plan.
Kennedy Unveils First Part of Public Safety Plan - Combating Illegal Guns
INDIANAPOLIS – (March 14, 2011) Today, Melina Kennedy, Democratic candidate for Mayor of Indianapolis, also a small business owner and former deputy mayor for economic development, unveiled her first plan to improve public safety in Indianapolis – combating illegal guns.
“The use of illegal guns is undermining our community, and is destroying too many families,” said Kennedy. “As Mayor, I will take the action necessary to make our streets and neighborhoods safer, and that includes taking head-on the issue of getting illegal guns off our streets. This is my commitment and the residents of Indianapolis can expect that I will follow through on that promise if I am elected Mayor.”
Kennedy noted that she is specifically going after those who possess guns illegally, and respects the rights of those who lawfully carry a weapon. "I respect the second amendment and am focusing my target on those criminals who have no business having a gun. As far as I'm concerned, any step we can take to keep a gun out of the hands of a criminal is a step closer to seeing the city of safety and opportunity that I envision."
Kennedy also expressed concern that Indianapolis has not joined the bi-partisan national Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns alliance, an alliance that four Indiana mayors have already joined. The national bi-partisan coalition is comprised of more than 500 mayors across the nation and advocates for measures that Kennedy supports such as closing a current loophole in the law that provides criminals with easy access to firearms.
“Illegal guns threaten the very future of our city, which is why on day one of my administration I will sign an executive order to join Indianapolis in the national Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns coalition. Fighting crime takes leadership, and I will not shirk from that duty,” Kennedy continued. "I was disappointed to learn that Indianapolis had not joined in what over 500 other mayors across the nation have had the courage to do to combat this serious issue."
Specifically, Kennedy laid out the following five points that she will focus on to combat illegal guns and to improve public safety in Indianapolis:
Kennedy 5 Point Plan to Combat Illegal Guns:
1. Support efforts to ensure that the individuals prohibited from purchasing firearms are entered into the background check system so that gun dealers have current and accurate information prior to sales;
2. Advocate to close a current loophole in the law that permits sales at gun shows without background checks, thereby providing criminals - even with a known criminal background - with easy access to firearms;
3. Work with public safety partners (local, state and federal government and community) to educate youth and parents on gun violence and promote gun violence prevention;
4. Encourage local gun buyback programs led by the mayors office in conjunction with all public safety partners, as well as community and faith organizations;
5. Advocate for punishment to the maximum extent of the law of criminals who possess, use, and traffic in illegal guns.
I don't know. Seems pretty reasonable to me. Why isn't Mayor Ballard signing on to this, too?
Mayor Ballard's friends on the right seem to be focusing in on Kennedy's mention of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition. The website of that organization actually lists five Indiana Mayors that have signed on to the group. They include Mayor Fred Armstrong of Columbus, Mayor Rudy Clay of Gary, Mayor Thomas Henry of Fort Wayne, Mayor Richard Hickman of Angola, and Mayor Stephen Leucke of South Bend.
I guess I'm dense, but I just don't see the problem or the issue.
I do see the problem of illegal weapons being used in crimes in Indianapolis. Seems to me that Kennedy has put forth the beginnings of a plan to not only get illegal guns off the streets of the city but to advocate for the issue as well by joining Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition.