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Rybak backs new gun laws, slams violent media

  • Blog Post by: Eric Roper
  • December 19, 2012 - 11:47 AM

In an e-mail to city residents Wednesday, Mayor R.T. Rybak endorsed new federal gun regulations and criticized violent media in the wake of last Friday's mass shooting in Connecticut.

Rybak said that the city's work tracing where people get guns shows the need for restrictions on "straw purchases" and a requirement that people report lost and stolen guns to the police. He also asked a local attorney to review the city's efforts over the last five years to combat youth violence.

The mayor revealed that the city is co-hosting a regional gun summit in January featuring police chiefs from across the Midwest. It's being set up in coordination with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

As part of an effort to tackle a "culture of violence," Rybak set his sights on media such as television, films and video games.

"We are being inundated by media that often are dominated by hideous levels of extreme, almost unthinkable violence," Rybak wrote. "We must ask ourselves, what do we expect to happen when our popular culture bombards us with a never-ending diet of it, and we consume it? And how much worse does it make it for people already facing mental-health challenges?"

Rybak also promoted federal law changes endorsed by Mayors Against Ilegal Guns, which was founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. This includes reinstating the assault weapons ban, fixing the gun-checks system and enabling local law enforcement to coordinate more with federal officials on gun violence.

"None of these common-sense actions at the federal level would do a single thing to limit the right to hunt or legitimately own a gun," Rybak wrote. "But together, they would save many, many lives."

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