Saying the time for silence is over, Carlisle Borough Councilman Sean Crampsie skipped over the moment of silence at the start of Thursday’s borough council meeting to call on legislators to take action on gun control.
“I think it’s time for a call to action for those folks that we vote for to do their damn job,” he said. “If they care about health, safety and welfare, I hope they do their job like we do everyday.
Crampsie said the time for silence should have been over after the shooting at Columbine High School or after the incidents of gun violence that have followed in its wake — Virginia Tech, Texas, Pittsburgh, Ohio, Chicago, Philadelphia, Orlando or where he grew up in Allentown.
Red flag laws create a legal process whereby a gun owner’s family and friends can petition a judge to order the temporary confiscation of the individual’s firearms if sufficient evidence is presented that the person is a danger to themselves or others.
“It happens too much. I’m very frustrated and we just keep coming back to moments of silence and nothing changes,” Crampsie said.
Crampsie said his concern is also for the police officers who go into situations in which someone might be heavily armed.
Friday, Crampsie said he had “received positive responses” to his comments from “those who would like to see action on this issue.”
Action can’t come from the borough due to state preemption laws, he said. That means local governments cannot enact gun regulations.
“We would need state or federal laws to change or new ones to be created,” he said.
The council moved immediately to the Pledge of Allegiance after Crampsie’s comments Thursday night. Only Mayor Tim Scott, in his role as the chair of the meeting, made any response.
“Thank you, Councilman Crampsie, for those words. They are appreciated,” he said.
Former borough councilwoman Connie Bires attended the meeting and took an opportunity for public comment at the end of the meeting to remind Crampsie that the oath council members take calls on them to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the constitution and laws of Pennsylvania.
There are also statements that guarantee the rights of citizens, including the use of weapons for protection and other reasons, she said.
“I do mourn the deaths .. but there are other considerations,” Bires said.
A moment of silence is typically held at the beginning of Carlisle Borough Council meetings. It is led by one of the members of the council, who typically talks briefly on a topic before asking those in attendance to reflect on the issue.
Issues are usually noncontroversial, focusing on such topics as remembering fallen police officers, thanking volunteers and the like.
Following the meeting, Crampsie reiterated his thoughts on Twitter, saying “The time for silence is over. #EnoughIsEnough.”