Do Not Stand Idly By - Gun Safety and the President's Speech

by Dan Smith


by Rev. Dan Smith
Vice President, Greater Boston Interfaith Organization

We have some exciting news to share! Yesterday, as part of a White House press conference about reducing gun violence, President Obama announced initial steps to implement a key recommendation of our Greater Boston Interfaith Organization/Metro IAF (Industrial Area Foundation) Do Not Stand Idly By campaign. (Learn more about this campaign here). President Obama’s announcement clearly reflects the impact of our campaign which seeks to leverage local and federal gun buying power to influence gun manufacturers to adopt safer practices.
GBIO has been a key player in this national work. We have secured commitments from Boston Mayor Walsh, Attorney General Healey and several local mayors and police chiefs to participate in this campaign, joining with public officials from over 80 municipalities across the country.  We are proud to stand with our sister organizations from Baltimore, Cleveland, Chicago, New York and elsewhere that are part of Metro IAF and Do Not Stand Idly By.
Please read the Metro IAF statement on the President's actions and the memo that President Obama has sent to the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security. These are the three agencies that we recommended that the President target; they are the largest federal purchasers of firearms, and have significant research budgets.  In announcing this step, the President and White House staff have used the language and analysis that GBIO/Metro IAF leaders have developed over the last 3 years. 
How did this happen?  Persistent pressure on the White House from Metro IAF.
What's next?  Bishop Douglas Miles, from our partner organization in Baltimore, will represent Metro IAF/DNSIB at CNN's town hall meeting on guns with the President on Thursday evening.  We will thank the White House for their actions and push for more -- specifically around leveraging large government contracts and around identifying and isolating the bad-apple gun dealers that supply most of the nation's crime guns.  We will continue to ask mayors, police chiefs, governors, etc. to join this effort and we will turn up the heat on manufacturers.
On January 31st, from 2:30 - 5 pm,  GBIO will host an information and training session for those interested in getting involved in this ongoing campaign.  Please see the flyer and reply to Rachie Lewis at if you are planning to come.
Thanks for everyone's work and support.  Let's keep pushing!

Rev. Dan Smith and Rachie Lewis, GBIO Gun Violence Prevention Team

Dan Smith

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