It’s billed as one of the most extensive summits for experts on gun policy at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and it’s timing is unmistakable on the one-month anniversary of the mass school shooting in Connecticut.
Governor Martin O’Malley spoke of his own reforms he’ll unveil this week.
"It will ban military assault weapons that have no place on the streets of Baltimore or on any other neighborhood in our state and it will also limit the size of magazines in order to make it harder for criminals to gun down in succession police officers or school children," said O’Malley.
In addition to an assault rifle ban, the governor’s plan also will focus on licensing and background checks, mental health reforms and at further safeguarding our schools.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg also proposed a military-style weapons ban, expanding background checks to private sales and toughening gun trafficking laws at the federal level.
"As horrific as Sandy Hook has been and all the other seemingly endless episodes of mass violence, we experience that level of carnage or worse every single day across our country, because every day of the year, an average of 33 Americans are murdered with guns," said Bloomberg.
Experts, like Hopkins Associate Professor Shannon Frattaroli, are hoping the evidence surrounding gun violence will speak for itself.
"My hope really is that the people who would normally sort of turn off when you talk about gun policies would really listen and hear what we have to say," said Frattaroli.
It’s a hope shared by elected leaders who claim the Second Amendment allows for what they call ‘common sense’.
"Neither Mayor Bloomberg, nor any of us in Maryland are seeking to ban all guns,” said O’Malley, “At the same time, we know that it makes absolutely no sense, when you look at the level of carnage on our streets from guns, to blame every factor, but guns."
Experts from across the country will wrap up the summit on Tuesday with a set of recommendations of their own.
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