Action today could prevent a death tomorrow

To the Editor:

It has been reported that a majority of the Stratford Town Council do not believe they should speak up for measures to curtail gun violence. Some have said it isn’t the place for local politics to act on national issues.

I think that reasoning is flawed and a disservice to constituents, those killed in Newtown three months ago and those who are killed by guns each day.

The late former Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neil said, “All politics is local.” He often went to great lengths to meet with the opposition to broker meaningful legislation, even when it wasn’t the most popular thing to do. He had guts, vision and the good sense to recognize the people’s best interests.

That’s why it pains me to hear that members of the Stratford Town Council cannot or will not come together to meet on matters of grave concern like gun violence. It is precisely the role of our elected leaders, and in our best interests, that they raise their voices to speak out on the issue and support measures against those who would do harm to others.

Whether it is universal background checks, regulation of ammunition sales and large capacity ammunition feeding devices, or asking for an increase in funding to mental health agencies to prevent gun violence, these are commonsensical answers to protect society but still allow for safe and responsible gun ownership.

I realize this is a tough issue but our elected leaders have the power and responsibility to act. And act they must.

They should also get behind a public forum on gun violence that Councilmember Stephanie Philips has proposed.

I’m sure they have some ideas to add to the discussion. Surely, none of them feel that doing nothing is an appropriate response. By adding to the discussion, the council can display the true leadership and strength we expect from them. By joining in support, they can send a strong message to those who would do others harm that we will not tolerate such crimes. By taking action today perhaps they will prevent someone’s death tomorrow.

Adam Brill

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