The letter below, from Mayor Mark Begich regarding the "Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition," appeared in Sunday's paper.
But first, I apologize for the cramped appearance of your comments in the previous post. Also, I saw some of you would like to see a list of top salaries for the Anchorage school district. I've been interested in who gets paid what in the new Palin administration, and made a couple informal requests early on but never followed up.
Who else's salary would be good to know?
Anyway, here's the letter:
This is in response to some recent questions about my involvement in the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition. I recently withdrew my name from the coalition after initially agreeing to sign on.
I do support the efforts to strengthen laws and prosecute individuals who dispense or use illegal guns, and getting them out of the hands of criminals. However, upon further review of the coalition, it appears they may have a different agenda than I anticipated.
I am concerned the coalition is working on issues that conflict with the beliefs we share in Alaska about legal gun ownership, and I'm also concerned gun ownership advocates are not part of the full discussion within the coalition. We cannot afford to risk protecting our Bill of Rights and the rights of legal gun owners.
Because of these conflicts, I have written to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, chair of the coalition, and have asked him to remove me as a supporter of the coalition.
We do have a problem in Anchorage with youth violence, gangs and their use of illegal guns. We are working with our gang task force, the Police Department and other means to eliminate the violence.
We'll continue to fight that problem without infringing on the rights of legal gun owners.
-- Mayor Mark Begich