Letter: Mayor unresponsive on gun violence issues

From: William Scarbrough


On Jan. 17, The Republic published a letter from me stating that Mayor Kristen Brown was ill-advised to encourage the citizens of Columbus to participate in the national Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. LEAD was an effort to thwart Attorney General Eric Holder’s investigation of the shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, the police assault resulting in the death of a black man in Staten Island, New York, and the police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, and to protest Mayor Bill de Blasio for telling his son to be wary of police and for his association with the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Adjacent to my letter was a letter from Brown in which she stated she encouraged anyone concerned about something to meet with her.

The Monday following was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. City Hall was closed. On Tuesday morning I called the mayor’s office and was told she would meet with me Monday, Jan. 26. On Jan. 22, I received a call from the mayor’s office in which I was told she was too busy to meet with me on the 26th but would meet with me Feb. 2.

This delay is unacceptable. Formatting the newspaper requires several days after submitting a letter. Informing the citizens of Columbus what the mayor is thinking is best communicated through the media. I can only tell you, for your consideration, some questions I have that we should demand answers to.

1. Did she know that the sponsoring organizations, COPS (Concerns of Police Survivors) and Quantico Tactical, she said were united in support of law enforcement officers facing increased tension, sell military equipment, guns, bulletpoof vests and armored vehicles to police?

2. Did she know that COPS also falsely states that only the military service is a more dangerous job than policing?

3. Did she know that the police officer who shot Tamir Rice was allowed to resign from a county sheriff’s office because he was undependable in handling a gun?

4. Has she supported former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords’ effort to ban assault rifles after the unspeakable slaughter of first-grade boys and girls in Newtown, Connecticut?

5. Does she know that since the tragedy on Dec. 14, 2012, there has been an average of nearly one school shooting a week? This includes fatal, nonfatal, unintentional shootings and suicides. Is this of concern to her as someone involved with public welfare in Columbus?

6. Is she a member of Every Town For Gun Safety?

Two years ago I met the mayor at a booth she had set up at the farmers market. I asked her if she was a member of Mayors Against Gun Violence.

She said she didn’t know of the organization but would get back to me. Never did.

Same organization with a new name.

7. Is she now a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns?

Many questions. No answers, yet. Stay tuned.