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Annapolis Mayor leads gun violence summit in honor of Capital Gazette shooting

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jun 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 08:10:22-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Thursday marks the eve of the biggest mass shooting in Annapolis history.

Five people were killed the evening Capital Gazette offices. The sounds of chaos and police were everywhere. That panic was replaced with conversation. Mayor Gavin Buckley used this anniversary to call a Safe Cities-Gun Violence summit.

"What can I do not to let this just be another statistic," said Mayor Buckley.

What he did was assemble experts on gun violence including policymakers, social leaders on the topic of gun violence, law enforcement, and those doing research on gun policies like Dr. Cassandra Crifasi. She is with the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Crifasi says the solutions have many levels, and one of those is the judicial process.

"Rather than giving people lots of chances and then throwing the book at them, we should hold them accountable swiftly and certainly when they misbehave the first time to decrease the likelihood that they'll then engage in violent behavior with a firearm in the future," said Dr. Crifasi.

Mayor Buckley says this is a national problem, but it's the grassroots campaign that hits home the most.

"You deal with this stuff much more on a local level than you do on a federal or state level because the people that are effected by this violence, you see them everyday," said Mayor Buckley.

Mayor Buckley called the conference because he's concerned about gun violence, and he acknowledges that there is no easy solution to correct it.

"Unaddressed mental health issues, you combine that with easy access to weapons, and then you have the kind of stuff that you see happening to our society," said Mayor Buckley.

"We really need to take a holistic approach, and this conference is bringing all those folks together to start that conversation," said Dr. Crifasi.