ANNAPOLIS, Md. – County Executive Steuart Pittman called on Councilmember Jessica Haire to apologize for a mail piece sent to voters showing her holding a shotgun and promising to expand and use the 2nd Amendment.
The mailer reached county residents 11 days after a racist shot and killed 10 people in a Buffalo grocery store, and one day after a gunman used an assault rifle to murder 19 elementary school children and two of their teachers in Uvalde, TX.
“I can’t explain what message Councilwoman Haire is trying to send with this advertising, but based on her vote to decline state funds for covid and opioid mitigation, and against protecting gun stores from firearms theft, we can assume that a Haire administration would end my administration’s gun violence intervention efforts,” County Executive Steuart Pittman said. “Which response do you support to massacres of innocent children and shoppers: comprehensive, data-driven intervention, or celebration of the very tool used to kill?”
“The county executive and I agree that firearms can be an important tool in people’s lives and work,“ said Andrea Chamblee, Anne Arundel County Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Vice-Chair and widow of the late Capital Gazette reporter and editor John McNamara. “But they don’t belong in a grocery store, a yoga studio, an elementary school, or a political ad. It is listening and responding to the needs and concerns of voters that makes a true public servant, not posing with firearms as a prop and scare tactic to score political points.”
Fulfilling a promise he made while campaigning in 2018, County Executive Pittman created the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force in the first year of his administration. The Task Force issued a report, found here, that included more than 40 conclusions on how to end gun violence.
After receiving the report, County Executive Pittman created the multi-agency Gun Violence Intervention Team, modeled on the County’s Opioid Intervention Team, and tasked the Department of Health with staffing and organizing it.
County Executive Pittman and the Gun Violence Intervention Team will hold a public meeting at 6pm on June 2 at the Michael E. Busch Library in Annapolis for updates on the work and next steps. More information on how to attend can be found here.