On a Tuesday morning in late July, several of us talked on my office phone with my friend Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. Nan was helping us think through options for our Farmers’ Market, where white supremacists were active. She shared Dayton’s experience dealing with a KKK rally and march in May that brought scores of assault weapons and white supremacists to town. “We got through it all with no injuries and no arrests, but did spend over $600,000,” Nan said, as she shared some advice about our market.
In part based on her advice, and other information, we announced suspension of our Farmers’ Market for two weeks. Just four days later, Nan’s own city was ripped apart with the latest mass shooting, with 9 killed and dozens injured, in 30 seconds of mayhem. That just hours after a white racist killed 22 in an El Paso store, aiming to kill people from Mexico.
Our hearts go out to victims of such violence, and to the families and communities that bear the loss. America has seen more than one mass shooting incident per day this year. Every mayor worries about whose community is next. We need to do more than worry.
I’ve joined hundreds of other US Mayors calling on the Senate immediately to join the House in passing common sense background check laws. [see letter] I plan to meet personally with our two U.S. Senators and our Representative, to share how misguided our gun laws are and to explain the need for new federal legislation. I’ve communicated with the Governor and the Attorney General to urge improvements in Indiana’s radical gun rights regime that prohibits local governments from taking common sense actions to protect public safety. I plan to connect with state legislative leaders as well.
In a democracy, politics is supposed to deliver the communities and country that we collectively desire. But on guns, our politics is completely wrecked. Many of our legislators and leaders have lost their way, and for that we need to show them the door. Thanks to Mom’s Demand Action and other advocates for keeping up the pressure, including at rallies across the country this past weekend.
And let’s remember that politics is what we need every day and during the next 15 months, to get to November 2020 and reclaim our country. Be ready. Be involved. Be steady.
PS: Remember to mark the Sunday after Labor Day for our 5th Annual Hamilton Family Picnic – Sunday, September 8th in Bryan Park from 4 to 7pm. We’ll kick off the fall municipal election season in style with music, barbecue, and Democrats, including governor candidates for 2020!