The death of a child is the worst thing any city faces. It shocks our sensibilities and hurts our hearts. My thoughts are with the family, friends, classmates, and neighbors of these young victims. The entire community is in mourning for the young girl who was killed.

But as we well understand by now, in a nation that is wracked with gun violence, thoughts and prayers are not enough. We have to recognize the failures that have made such violence possible and we have to commit ourselves anew to addressing those failures.

MPD has made great progress on reducing shots fired in Madison -- shots fired are down another 16% this year after a significant decrease last year -- and MPD is seizing 41% more guns than ever before.

BUT criminals and teens can too easily access guns in our community.

Any gun death is one too many.

Any shots fired incident is one too many.

Our nation and our state have failed to deliver the gun safety laws that would take guns off our streets. Our state in particular has failed to provide adequate revenues for all the public safety needs of Wisconsin cities and they have specifically banned cities from taking active measures to stop the sale of guns, to regulate assault weapons and provide at least some measure of protection against the flow of deadly weapons into our neighborhoods.

The Madison Police Department and the Madison Fire Department do an excellent job in responding to violent incidents. I want to say thank you to all the officers, paramedics and EMTs that responded last night, some of whom worked all night. Their job is difficult and dangerous and they do it well.

But responding to violence is not enough for our community. We must work to prevent it from happening in the first place. In Madison, we have worked closely with the police, public health, neighborhood and community groups to prevent violence and we will continue to do that -- indeed we will step up our efforts -- but we need everyone to play a role in stopping gun violence. And by everyone, I mean:

We need gun manufacturers to start incorporating technology into their products that would prevent the theft and use of stolen guns. The majority of stolen guns recovered this year in Madison were made by Glock.

We need Congress to pass common sense gun laws.

We need gun owners to use gun safes and consistently secure firearms so they do not end up on the street.

We need landlords and property managers to provide very active and professional management of their buildings.

We need you – every adult in the city of Madison – to be there for our young people. Volunteer at the school in your neighborhood, or your local community center. Support the many fine organizations in our community that work with young people. Be a mentor. Help young people find hope, find constructive ways to manage conflict, and to be part of our community.

And we need young people, full stop. We need you alive. We need you to grow up and be nurses and bus drivers and teachers and so much more.

We do not want to bury any more of our children.

Gun violence is an urgent American crisis and we need every level of government to act accordingly.

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Mayor's Office and a link back to the original post.