BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) hosted a roundtable discussion at Coppin State University Monday on ways to heal the many communities, in Baltimore and beyond, that have been impacted by gun violence. The conversation brought together community leaders, including the Center for Urban Families; public policy advocates, including the Center for Gun Policy and Research, Johns Hopkins University; clergy, including Rev. Dr. Al Hathaway of Union Baptist Church; mental and medical health professionals, including the Chief Medical Officer of the Baltimore City Health Department and the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center; law enforcement, including the Baltimore County State’s Attorney, Baltimore City Deputy State’s Attorney and officers from the Baltimore City Police Department; local elected officials and others all with the common goal of addressing potential causes and solutions to gun violence. Senator Cardin shared details of measures recently proposed in the U.S. Senate.
“We have an epidemic here and we need to deal with it in a sensible way. Doing nothing is not an option,” said Senator Cardin. “We can no longer sit on the sidelines as gun violence continues to tear apart our communities.
“Earlier this month, I joined my Senate colleagues in putting forth common-sense solutions to help address our nation’s firearms crisis. I personally would like to see Congress reinstate a ban on assault weapons and prohibit the use of high-capacity magazine clips for civilian purposes, although that is not the prevailing view in Congress. There some bipartisan proposals. Many include background checks and closing loopholes at gun shows, and dealing with straw purchasers. And there is bipartisan support for addressing mental health issues. Very few medical providers are equipped to help patients find the care they need, and that includes most emergency rooms.
The roundtable comes on the same day as the Gallup organization released new polling indicating that 55 percent of Americans “want stricter gun control laws in the wake of multiple mass shootings,” up six percent from one year ago.
“These are logical steps that will help save lives—and they are widely supported by the American people – regardless of political party.”