Council Against Gun Violence applauds Tesei
Over the past several weeks, the Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence collected signatures of 324 residents asking the Board of Selectmen to join Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Last week, First Selectman Tesei did just that. We applaud Mr. Tesei for publicly standing up and joining this bipartisan coalition of more than 1,000 mayors who are working to make America's communities safer.
Although the board also passed a resolution mirroring the MAIG Statement of Principles, we believe joining carries more significance. MAIG is effectively mobilizing citizens and elected officials across the country to advocate for common sense measures.
It's working. After seven years of NRA-led opposition, the U.S. Senate finally confirmed a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives -- the nation's "top cop." Imagine the outcry if Greenwich did not have a Chief of Police for that long.
Some people believe that MAIG merely reflects the personal agenda of New York City Mayor Bloomberg and has the ultimate goal of confiscating everybody's guns. There is no evidence for this.
MAIG advocates for common sense measures such as enforcing existing laws to the maximum extent possible, enabling law enforcement to share trace data, targeting gun dealers who knowingly sell to straw purchasers and supporting new legislation that targets illegal guns.
The membership of MAIG has grown nearly 20 percent in the past year. It has 1.5 million grassroots supporters, making it the country's largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization. We believe this attests to its effectiveness, and this is why we asked the first selectman to join.
We respect the opinion of those who are not comfortable with the aggressive advocacy of MAIG, in particular calling out legislators who are standing in the way of common sense gun regulation. But we believe the actions of MAIG are not unreasonably aggressive in the face of the epidemic of gun violence (more than 7,000 confirmed deaths since Newtown) contrasted with the complete lack of progress in the U.S. Congress on universal background checks for firearm purchases.
Despite near universal support across the nation, a minority of legislators in the U.S. Senate blocked passage of the Manchin-Toomey Amendment for universal background checks. The House leadership has refused to schedule a vote on the companion Thompson-King bill, which has 184 co-sponsors.
With Mr. Tesei's courageous move, Greenwich is adding its voice to those who believe the status quo is unacceptable. Thank you, Mr. Tesei.
(The writers are members of the Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence.)
Decision to run
not a taxing one
Last month, I received the unanimous endorsement from the Greenwich Democratic Party to be the candidate for tax collector this November.
I could not be more grateful for this opportunity. I look forward to meeting and listening to as many Greenwich voters as possible between now and election day, as I believe engaging the electorate is what public service is defined by. And it is those two words, "public servant," that I will strive to define me as I embark on this campaign.
Over the coming weeks, you are likely to run into me at a church carnival, the town transfer station, the train station or even at your front door. Please tell me your ideas on how the tax collector's office can better serve you. Would those who work out of town benefit by having me there on a weeknight or Saturday morning once a month or more? I have already visited neighboring towns to see their offices operate and get their ideas.
If you have a concern or idea, I certainly want to hear from you. You can contact me by email at email@example.com.
Giving back to this community is something that's always been a way of life in our family. It would be my honor to serve the town of Greenwich by receiving your vote on November 5.
What if the tables
If Edward Snowden was a Russian and he broadcast secrets of the Russian government's intelligence agencies and then fled to the United States, would we send him back to Russia to face prosecution for crimes including treason?