Pictured; Mayor Tom Barrett with Common Ground Leaders
Fewer than half of gun owners consistently secure their firearms. The consequences are deadly. Every day guns are stolen from homes, vehicles, or businesses. Stolen guns are frequently used in violent crimes, sometimes multiple crimes. Unsecured guns can be accessed by children or used in suicides. Two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides.
On November 10, Common Ground leaders stood by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett as he signed into law a resolution to have the city of Milwaukee join the National Gun Safety Consortium. “We are working together to tackle the issue of unsecured guns,” stated Rev. Rob Ater of Immanuel Presbyterian Church and part of the Common Ground Strategy Team. “We want to recognize Mayor Barrett for his leadership on this.”
Common Ground is not alone in its efforts to help end gun violence. Metro IAF affiliates across the country are organizing mayors and police chiefs to promote the development, distribution, and use of gun security products that gun owners will actually use. Conventional gun locks and safes are seen by many as too slow or unwieldy to unlock in an emergency. As a result, over 50% of gun owners do not regularly lock up their firearms.
This approach is unique in that organizations and cities are collaborating with law enforcement agencies across the country. Consortium member police departments will evaluate emerging gun security technologies and provide feedback to shape their development. Those that show the greatest promise and earn the endorsement of law enforcement will eventually be promoted for consistent use by officers and citizens alike. Police Chief Jeffrey Norman and Milwaukee Police Department should be applauded for being willing to join this groundbreaking national effort.
Making this approach even more unique is that its a market-based, rather than a legislative, approach. We are pooling our public purchasing power to show the gun industry and the tech industry that there is a demand for these products. There is no other group or campaign in the nation that is combining those two approaches to reducing gun deaths and injuries.
“Guns are not going away so we need to do everything in our power to develop and promote gun-security products that people will actually use. We need to make our guns theft-proof and child-proof. Those living with a loved one who is suicidal, need a way to secure their guns,” explained Rev. Will Davis of Invisible Reality Ministries and the Common Ground Executive Team.
We thank the Common Council for their unanimous support, especially the sponsors Cavalier Johnson, Marina Dimitrijevic, Milele Coggs, Mark Borkowski, and Scott Spiker.