Gun violence topic of Minneapolis Summit

7:27 AM, Jan 10, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Learn, and listen. That's what Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak says he'll do Wednesday at a summit about gun violence.

The meeting will include 60 leaders from across the Midwest. Mayors, police chiefs and others will be sharing ideas in hopes of helping the entire region stop crimes involving guns.

"We're not starting at zero. We've done a lot," Rybak said. "We really have to do a lot more."

Rybak and others hosting the Minneapolis summit say they knew that when they first started planning it a year ago, but they never imagined that, in the meantime, they'd see the one of the worst mass shootings in state history in October at Accent Signage. Rybak says he struggles each time he sees families lose loved ones to guns.

"The incidents that have hit hardest for me are the ones where I've stood on a corner with a mom whose kid is dead and had to answer, 'Where did the gun come from?'" Rybak said.

That question is one Rybak says he'll ask at the summit, along with those about permits, background checks, mental health and assault weapons. And while the same problems affect the entire nation, how to solve them will have a local approach.

"Here in the Midwest we have unique issues, unique views, unique ways of looking at things," Rybak said. "And that's why we want to have a Midwestern conversation."

Wednesday's conversation isn't the only one Rybak will have about gun violence this month. He's also headed to Capitol Hill next week, where he and other mayors from across the country will lobby for new gun control laws.

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