There are a lot of heads working on the problem of gang violence in America, and on the larger topic of gun violence solutions. Unfortunately, however, science and reason often give way to political agendas and media propaganda when it comes to the matter of gun violence prevention.
Anti-gun violence organizations like Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) are based on the progressive ideal that the world would be better off without guns, that the guns are somehow responsible for killing people much like alcohol and cars… wait, what. Sorry, wrong article.
Truthfully some of the PSN program initiatives, like actually prosecuting gun crimes, are great for supporters of the second amendment. But progressives even mess prosecuting gun crimes up.
If this were a video you would see that at this point of the article 30% of progressives have already walked out of the room… see their version of enlightenment isn’t about searching for truths but rather compliance. Onward.
We know that Obama frequently talked about the need to curb gun violence and crime, and to do it, he argued, we need more gun laws. At the same time (most progressive supporters don’t know) Obama and his band of power-freaks actually reduced gun crime prosecutions by over 30% while he was President!
So they argue, we need more gun laws and while we’re at it we’ll stop enforcing the ones we already have.
Gang Violence in America & Criminal Prosecutions
Putting that into more of a perspective, America’s 1st Freedom wrote:
“In 2014 in Chicago, over 2,500 people were shot—nearly 400 of them fatally—and police seized more than 6,252 guns. Yet out of those 6,252 guns seized, Fardon’s federal prosecutors saw fit to pursue just 62 weapons prosecutions. In other words, for every 100 guns police seized, federal prosecutors made just one prosecution.”
So on the one hand progressives argue that we need more guns laws to reduce gun crime, and on the other hand they simply reduce prosecuting gun crimes by more than 30% for the laws already on the books. I’m a simple man, you do the math.
That’s not enough for some, so let’s dive into this a little deeper. And this isn’t necessarily a gang violence solutions essay, but rather a place to begin a new discussion.
Insider Business Daily wrote an excellent editorial on gang violence in America, specifically talking about Chicago gang violence solutions. It starts with actually prosecuting gun crimes. They wrote:
“Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) shows that the Northern Illinois district ranked 90th out of 90 in prosecutions of federal weapons crimes per capita.
David Burnham, co-director of TRAC, states their analysis says that according to case-by-case U.S. Justice Department information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, there were 52 federal gun prosecutions in Illinois North (Chicago) in 2012, or 5.52 per million in population.
By this measure, compared with the 90 federal judicial districts in the U.S., the prosecution rate in Chicago was the lowest in the country.”
So yes, most of the gun control hot air coming from progressives has to do with power and control, and also to a degree the euro-envy elites who want to impress their colleagues overseas, and very little to do with actually reducing gun crimes.
See my article on “How Many People Die From Guns” to see how silly the whole scare agenda of the fanatic left really is.
Gun Violence Solutions
So let’s get back to anti gun violence organizations (or put another way, those who hope to help reduce gun crime). In the Project Safe Neighborhood brochure called “Firearms in the Home“, they cite a 2008 article in the New England Journal of Medicine to tell you that when a firearm is stored in a home the possibility of homicide increases by up to 170 percent and suicide increases by up to 460 percent.
Holy moly! Seriously?
Since most guns are stored in the home and not in a phone booth I guess that makes sense. I mean, if you want to provide REAL data then you would go on to mention that a huge majority of those deaths are bad guy deaths, so not really the same as the message they’re trying to brainwash people with, is it?
You could word the same data like this. With a gun in your home your chances of killing a rapist or murderer (or some other baddy) increases by a whopping 170%.
In that same sentence by PSN mentioned above, to add further dramatic appeal, they include suicides as increasing by 460% with a gun in the home. Well, yea. If I have a choice between a gun and a rope I think I’ll take the gun. It’s more humane, too, but hey we won’t let a little humanity get in the way of a good scare.
Do you know what Japan, S. Korea, Austria, Finland, France, Belgium, and Poland have in common? Like many other countries, they have MUCH stricter gun laws than we do in the U.S.. But they also have a higher suicide rate than us. That kind of deflates the scare from all those suicide gun deaths, huh?
‘So, you’re saying those nasty guns have nothing to do with a person’s ability to commit suicide and to actually carry it out?’
Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
Ways To Reduce Gun Violence
Back to Project Safe Neighborhood and why I wrote this post. On November 1, 2016, U.S. District Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington found career criminal Ernest Vereen, Jr. guilty of Possession of a Firearm by an Armed Career Criminal following a two-day trial.
According to an ATF news brief:
“According to trial testimony, when officers from the Tampa Police Department confronted Vereen pursuant to an ongoing investigation, he reached for his firearm before ultimately complying with their demands. During the sentencing hearing, the judge described Vereen’s decades-long history of sexual and physical violence, noting that she was particularly concerned that Vereen targeted people with less physical strength than him, specifically women and, in one instance, a 4-year-old child. The judge explained her decision to sentence Vereen at the high-end of his guidelines range, explaining that the Court’s first obligation was to keep society safe.”
On March 10, 2017 the Judge very sternly handed down a sentence to 24 years and 5 months in federal prison for Vereen.
This is a great example of how the feds can start to make a dent in gun crimes.
For example, we know that because the fed made it a very serious crime to use a weapon or threat of a weapon during bank robberies, that today only a small percentage of bank robberies involve the use of a firearm.
In fact in 2015 only 21% of bank robberies involved the use of a firearm. This is a very clear case of using criminal punishment to alter behavior.
Federal bank robbery is covered under Title 18 section 2113 of the United States Code (18 USC 2113) as part of a comprehensive statute that has expanded to include other theft crimes as well. Under this law, federal bank robbery is defined as the “taking or attempted taking by force, intimidation, or extortion, of any property, money or any other thing of value belonging to, or in the care, custody, control, management or possession of any bank, credit union, or savings and loan association.”1
Subsection (d) of that statute brings the hammer… it states that anyone who assaults any person, or puts in jeopardy the life of any person by the use of a dangerous weapon or device while committing any offense described in subsections (a) or (b) is subject to a fine and up to twenty-five years imprisonment. Toy weapons and hoax bomb devices fall within the purview of this subsection.
That’s an extra 25 years in federal prison JUST for using a firearm or threat of a firearm, on TOP of the time you could get for the actual bank robbery. In effect, when combined with other felonies, it becomes a life sentence for many which is why this law has worked and many lives have been saved as a result of it.
Reduce Gun Violence, Not Individual Liberties
I’m a huge supporter of the NRA because they’re fighting to help you and I keep our right to self-defense. I’m going to quote their article again and let it sum up my feelings on this.
“Here’s the upshot: Chicago isn’t enforcing its gun laws against criminals. Cook County isn’t enforcing its gun laws against criminals. The federal government isn’t enforcing its gun laws against criminals. As a direct result, armed, dangerous criminals are being bounced back to the streets … violent crime is skyrocketing in Chicago … and while the city explodes into a firestorm of violence, and the fire trucks sit idle and empty in their stations, the political class is trying to take away the public’s fire extinguishers—your right to keep and bear arms.”
Gun violence solutions must include stopping the “people” who commit crimes and not simply removing rights of citizens because it makes progressives feel better. I know there are obviously deeper and longer-term big picture social issues that must be addressed, but the point of this article is not reducing personal liberties because it makes us feel better than to actually lock people in jail for crimes against humanity.
What do you think? Do we need more gun laws or is there a better solution that I’m overlooking or haven’t considered?