LARGO, Md. – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today hosted a roundtable discussion with a diverse collection of law enforcement and community representatives on ways to stem the increased gun violence harming our communities in Maryland and beyond. Featuring Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks, the conversation included public policy advocates, law enforcement, elected officials, clergy, and mental and medical health professionals. It addressed the potential causes and solutions to gun violence, including gun safety legislation recently proposed in the U.S. Senate.
“You are 20 times more likely to die from gun violence in America than in any other industrialized nation. That’s just outrageous. We need to act, and we need to act now. We cannot accept inaction,” said Senator Cardin. “We have an epidemic here and we need to deal with it in a sensible way. We can no longer sit on the sidelines as senseless gun violence continues to tear apart our communities.”
Earlier this month, Senator Cardin joined his Senate colleagues in putting forth common-sense solutions to help address our nation’s firearms crisis.
“There are some viable bipartisan proposals out there. Many include stronger background checks, closing loopholes at gun shows and dealing with straw purchasers. And there is bipartisan support for addressing mental health issues. Very few medical professionals presently are equipped to provide patients the care they need, and that includes most emergency rooms,” said Senator Cardin. “These measures contain logical steps that will help to save lives—and they are widely supported by the American people, regardless of political party.”
This week 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.
“By the time too many of our children reach age 21, they’re sick, violent and uneducated,” said State’s Attorney Alsobrooks. “One third of our children in juvenile attention are mentally ill … and the only place they are guaranteed healthcare is in prison.”
“This morning, I read a brief story deep in the newspaper about a local man being shot to death in front of his home. Have we really gotten to the point that a man being senselessly killed on his front porch in the middle of our community is no longer news?” asked Senator Cardin. “We cannot be immune to gun violence. We need to do better.”