Ed Markey speaks at an event in Roxbury on gun safety. (Lana Jones/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)
ROXBURY (WBZ-AM) -- Sen. Ed Markey joined with gun safety advocates in Roxbury Tuesday to call for more research and what he called "common sense" gun regulation.
The event came less than a week after a gunman shot and killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
The senator wants Congress to set aside $10 million for the CDC to study gun violence as a public health issue.
"No one should be afraid of science," he said. "No one should fear non-partisan, scientific research--not Democrats, not Republicans, not the National Rifle Association ... it is time we treat gun violence like the public health emergency that it is."
Janelle Matthias of the Codman Academy spoke at the event, saying she is tired of hearing the statistics.
"Because every day we sit back and do nothing, a little child is killed, someone gets a gun illegally, and mental illness and all the other factors that go into it just helps this issue get worse," she said. "We have to come together as the human race and try to prevent this."
Sen. Markey says it's not clear whether a proposal by President Trump for background checks on mental illness could have prevented the Florida tragedy.
"To the extent to which there is more information in the system, that would be good," he said. "But to the extent to which there still would be no mandatory background check, no mandatory gun show check, no mandatory online check for who is buying guns, then there is still going to be a huge loophole through which these mass murderers can move to purchase guns and then use them in the schools of our country."
He said those loopholes must be stopped--and that he supports a national registry of gun owners.
"It's not to say that there's any effort to ban rifles or handguns from our society," he said. "It's to say that we need common sense regulation when it comes to who can purchase them and what kind of gun they can purchase."
Markey says he is hopeful after so many calls for action that now is the time because the children who survived the shooting have become involved.
He says those children are key to addressing the issue this time, "because adults are not willing to take on the National Rifle Association."
"I think what the children in Florida have done is going to be mirrored by children all across the country, and I do think this is the political turning point on the issue," he said.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Lana Jones reports