In an open letter, 10 mayors this week called on President Trump to condemn the armed resistance on the far right to the “peaceful protests” happening in cities and towns around the country.
“As members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, we share an interest in reducing gun violence in our cities in all its forms,” the letter opens.
“We are troubled by the recent rise in organized groups, particularly extreme-right militias, openly carrying firearms under the guise of upholding law and order, and we wish to express clearly the risks this creates for public safety in our cities,” it continues.
All the mayors who signed the letter are Democrats, with the exception of McKinley L. Price, mayor of Newport News, VA, who is an independent. And, as mentioned, all of them belong to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the coalition co-founded by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2006.
“In recent weeks, we’ve seen an alarming number of fellow elected officials, including yourself, applauding armed intimidation of peaceful protesters. We are calling for an end to this dangerous rhetoric. Instead of inciting vigilantism, we urge you to join us in condemning reckless escalations by militias and other extremists,” states the letter.
….These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
Of particular concern to the mayors was a tweet by President Trump back in May that read, in part, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” according to an Everytown for Gun Safety press release promoting the letter.
“There is no excuse for inciting vigilantism or armed intimidation of peaceful protesters,” said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss in a separate statement. There are serious consequences to the kind of reckless rhetoric we continue to hear from the White House.”
Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, another Bloomberg-funded organization, piggy-backed on the mayors’ message and blasted the president for sowing discord.
“When armed extremists seek out confrontations with peaceful demonstrators protesting police violence against Black Americans, responsible leaders don’t stay silent,” said Shannon Watts. “They sure as hell don’t egg them on. The president shouldn’t need a reminder that vigilantism undermines public safety.”
You can read a copy of the full letter below: