As a member of Nebraskans Against Gun Violence, a member of the Mayor’s Task Force on Prevention of Child Access to Firearms, a parent and a citizen, I am appalled by the bait and switch in which our City Council participated at its Oct. 28 meeting. This behavior showed a both a disregard for data and the safety of the community.
The published agenda showed an amendment to Councilman Roy Christensen’s guns-in-cars ordinance that showed a clarification of specific concerns with the original legislation, including proper sanctions for violation of the ordinance. It was good policy.
But, surprise! Mr. Christensen introduced an amendment to neuter his own ordinance. One would have expected that, with incompatible amendments, there would be discussion. But, in less than five minutes, the council voted in lockstep to shut down sound policy in favor of a weakened non-policy. More concerns for public safety were addressed in the renaming of a street that contains 3 houses.
Instead of “safe storage in cars,” the council passed “storage in cars.” That’s right, Lincoln. In a city with more than one gun stolen from a car each week, half of which are found with youth, your leadership just codified cars as permanent gun safes.
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When Lincoln sees its next gun tragedy from a youth who accesses an unsecured firearm, I will wonder if there is more I could have done. But I will know there is plenty our leadership could have done.
Emily Killham, Lincoln
Board member, Nebraskans Against Gun Violence