NEW YORK—New York state Sen. Eric Adams launched a campaign against gun violence on the steps of City Hall Sunday, with support from local non-violence advocacy groups, including the Crown Heights' Save Our Streets (SOS), the Youth Task Force, and the Unify Society.
“Gun violence is all too prevalent in our society,” Adams said. “It is a plague, and we must dedicate ourselves to its eradication. We must use both education and legislation to combat the deadly consequences of weapon-related crimes.”
“The shooting that takes in Arizona, in Brooklyn, or no matter what city or state … We have become a society that has embraced a gun culture,” he continued. “Enough is enough. We want our country back; we want our cities back; we want our schools back; we want our homes back; we want to, once again, return to a society where gun violence and innocent people being shot, maimed, or killed are not part of the daily tabloids.”
Informational billboards will be put up throughout the five boroughs, including one with the image of a gun in a lunchbox. The campaign will also feature SOS’ poster of a child with text, “DON’T SHOOT. I want to grow up.”
Adams has made an instructional video, uploaded to YouTube, that educates parents on ways to check their homes for weapons, drugs, and use thereof. An e-blast with the video link will be sent out through churches, schools, and other community circles, said the senator.
“You have an obligation to check your home. You have a duty and obligation to protect the members of your household,” Adams said to parents and adult siblings, adding that small things, such as bamboo pieces and cut up straws, may indicate drug usage.
The senator noted that the video should send a message to children as well. “You may have a young person look at the YouTube video and think, ‘I’ve got to hide my gun somewhere else.’ Well, what we want to do is let them know [that] there is no safe place to hide drugs or guns or anything else in their home. Once they rid it from their homes, it’s the police’s job to rid it from the streets. Our young people and parents must partner together.”
Adams is also introducing legislation that would require a mental hygiene check to be performed on anyone registering or renewing firearm permits. The assessment would cover history of prescription and/or illegal drug usage and mental institutionalization.
Tracey Collins, an educator and a former school principal, noted that “safety is a prerequisite to learning.”
“Children learn safe habits at home and at school. When it comes to gun safety, we want to teach children that in real life guns can hurt [people]. … We want to take this time to talk to our children about ways to resolve fights and arguments without violence,” Collins said.