NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Mayor Thomas Bernard has joined Pittsfield's Mayor Linda Tyer in signing onto to the principles of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition following the deadly shootings that killed more than 30 people.
"In the wake of what happened in El Paso (Texas) and Dayton (Ohio) this weekend, she and I talked, and I had been familiar with it and hadn't signed on," Bernard said on Tuesday. "So I suggested that we both look at it — it turns out that Pittsfield had done it previously, and they just hadn't gotten updated on the website."
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, now part of Everytown for Gun Safety, was established by the late Thomas Menino, mayor of Boston and then New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2006 with 13 other mayors.
It came out of a summit hosted by the two mayors and attended by more than 100 mayors of varied political persuasions and representing regions across the nation. The goal was to share information and best practices related to keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals.
It now numbers more than 1,000 current and former mayors who also advocate for gun safety reforms through local programs and at the state and federal level.
"We understand that statements and legislative advocacy alone will not prevent gun violence or senseless tragedy. However as leaders we have an obligation to our residents and our communities to be part of this ongoing and growing national movement to support commonsense strategies and laws that make it more difficult for those intent on pursing a course of violence to act on their deadliest impulses," Tyer said in a statement.
She also extended condolences to the victims and their families.
Bernard felt this was a moment to make a statement, when both legal and illegal firearms are "fueling incidents of domestic terrorism ... and when white nationalist and white supremacist rhetoric has become commonplace."
When students aren't safe in their schools and when more than half the women who are victims of partner homicide are killed with a gun, "we must speak with one voice against this epidemic of violence," he said.
"Together we can promote reasonable regulations that preserve individual rights while ensuring a strong and uncompromising commitment to public safety," he said in the statement.
Tyer and Bernard said, in the statement, that they are committed to actions at the local level to build stronger neighborhoods, promote safety and reduce gun violence, including:
Building stronger relationships at the neighborhood and school levels through community policing programs, including participation in the annual National Night Out
Deepening partnerships among police departments and community agencies such as the Elizabeth Freeman Center and the NAACP Berkshire County Branch
Expanding the use of data to inform decision making and enforcement initiatives
Joining District Attorney Harrington's Berkshire Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force
"You don't want to imagine what could happen anywhere," Bernard said at the North Adams' National Night Out event at Noel Field Athletic Complex. "No community wants to wants to imagine it. ...
"This felt like a moment where standing up and being counted and making a statement really mattered to me."
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
DERRY, N.H. -- The MCLA volleyball team swept a pair of non league matches Sunday afternoon as they defeated Farmingdale State, 3-1, in the opener before defeating host Delhi, 3-0, in the nightcap.
The Trailblazers improve to 7-4 on the season. They have won seven of their last eight games.
MCLA (7-4) took the opening two sets against Farmingdale by scores of 25-23 and 25-19 to take the early lead. The Trailblazers dropped the third set, 25-19 before closing the match out with a 25-20 fourth set victory.
Kelly Moczulski continues to lead the offense. She collected 15 kills and 16 digs in the win for MCLA. Tessa Sestito returned from injury to finish with 31 assists and 11 digs of her own. Madison Jayne and Lee's Ahna Schlaefer ended with nine and seven kills, respectively.
But now, starting this year, the Santa Fund will focus on distributing warm winter coats at the end of October, before the cold weather really sets in. This is a partnership with Northern Berkshire United Way, Berkshire Community Action Council and the Rotary Club of North Adams. click for more
Lifting that shame is one of the major goals of the Voices for Recovery event, which starts at noon in Colegrove Park with informational tables and family activities, continues at 1 p.m. with a ceremony of remembrance for those lost to recovery followed by a walk up Main Street to City Hall for a... click for more
And while the commissioners were supportive of the efforts being made by Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts in developing the empty lot into a park to entice its visitors to the downtown, they acknowledged they had no control over the 40-foot by 40-foot installation that's going to be facing... click for more
But when the topics are narrowed down and announced, Executive Director Amber Besaw warned, people in the room on Friday shouldn't be surprised if they saw ideas they hadn't heard mentioned in the room at The Green. That's because, for the first time, the Coalition held a call-in session on Aug. 23... click for more