I’m a gun owner, and a 30-year career police officer, though I haven’t fired a weapon in over 30 years. It’s just not my shtick. But I sure feel safer knowing a weapon is within reach if an unforeseen and dangerous incident occurs within my purview.
In every national election, the anti-gun brigade emerges with demands that gun-laws be more restricted, citing violent crime as the number one objective. The problem with that argument is that legally purchased guns, with background checks, have very little impact on the crime rate. Most guns used in violent crimes and/or gang activity are acquired by private sales, thievery or the black market. Thus, gun “control” is not the answer. Rarely do legally purchased guns surface in violent environments.
Those who would overturn the 2nd Amendment would be making a horrible mistake, all in the so-called interest of reducing crime and violence.
I do not mean to suggest that some revisions to gun laws might be in order. I totally understand the comparison about the 2nd Amendment being passed in 1791, when rifles were long and single-shot only. If that amendment was passed in today’s world, it would read much different.
No private citizen needs to own a machine gun, cannon, or homemade bombs for that matter. I’ve also heard arguments from folks in other parts of the world, where violent crime is much lower, ostensibly because gun ownership is more tightly restricted. Yes, Sweden, France and Amsterdam and most countries in Europe have stricter gun laws which gives American naysayers justification for proposing tougher laws, or yet, abolishing the 2nd Amendment. Bear in mind, also, that our country is far more multi-cultural and multi-ethnic than other nations in the world.
The sad truth is that criminal gun activity is a product of the streets, mostly illegal. In a special report issued recently by the Department of Justice, state and federal prisoners who had used firearms in their crimes obtained them in the black market, while other guns were gifts from friends or relatives. Only 7 percent of guns used in crime were purchased guns from dealers and less than one percent were bought at gun shows. So much for background checks.
The most serious problem producing violent crime in America, which we hear little about, is the dilemma of “Mental Illness.” Whereby seriously deranged individuals could be remanded by court order to mental institutions until the late 1970s, more than 90 percent of those institutions are now closed due to court decisions, leaving prisons as housing centers for the mentally ill. Prison studies have determined that roughly 20 percent of inmates (out of 2.3 million) are deemed seriously disturbed.
Successfully fighting crime is more doable than people think. All we need to do is search for the best examples, where many problems were actually solved. In the largest city in America, murders in New York City rose to over 2,000 per year in the early 1990s. Along came Mayor Rudy Giuliani who initiated a myriad of programs to successfully reduce violent crime. When he first took command of the Big Apple, between 1600 and 2000 annual murders were tabulated. By the time he left office, those murders dropped to under 600 a year. In his first three years as mayor, over 56,000 guns were impounded from the streets. Other violent crimes dropped as well. Why? Mayor Giuliani initiated several programs, the most controversial being Stop and Frisk. With specific restrictions and training, police officers were given the green light to stop and question hundreds of thousands annually.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who succeeded Giuliani, maintained the same process with results of lowering crime rates. Some folks thought it was an overreach, others screamed racial profiling was too common. But the facts support both the mayors, having saved many lives in New York City. What’s more important than saving lives and making citizens feel safe?
The problem is not just guns. The past six months of unrestrained city riots, unprecedented throughout America, indicates how too many Anti-American people in our communities are under orders by a hidden enemy to destroy America. That’s another topic.