"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Gun Crimes Up; PA looks for Answers

"Earlier this month, the Philadelphia Daily News called its hometown the 'City of Blood,' and by all accounts that is a fair assessment for a place with 268 murders and more than 1,330 people shot this year," according to Lancaster Online.

Philly is not alone:
Last year, there were two violent gun crimes for every 1,000 individuals, compared with 1.4 in 2004, according to the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics. There were 2.6 robberies for every 1,000 people, compared with 2.1 the year before."This report tells us (the more serious) events, robbery and gun crimes, increased, and the FBI already told us homicides increased," said criminal justice Professor James Alan Fox of Northeastern University.

What to do about it?

Some lawmakers want to restrict even further the rights of the people to keep and bear arms, as if the law-abiding community needs disarming, not the criminals.

How do you disarm the criminals, who won't obey gun control laws?
Lancaster County District Attorney Don Totaro... believes there are more effective ways of curbing violent crime.“As far as gun control, I don’t see that working. Not at all,” he said. “One of the reasons is, criminals will always find ways around the laws. Essentially they only affect law-abiding citizens.”He added, “For example, convicted felons who illegally possess guns and those who act as ‘straw purchasers’ to buy guns for felons present a clear danger to our community, yet state penalties are inadequate to deal with this serious problem.”The solution, he said, is tougher prison sentences.“The tragic shooting of an F&M College student last week once again illustrates the need for tougher penalties against criminals who possess guns,” Totaro said. “Because not all gun crimes are prosecuted in federal court, it is incumbent upon our state Legislature to address this deadly problem by passing laws that hold dangerous criminals responsible for their actions.”
What he's talking about is a state level counterpart to Project Exile, a federal initiative begun in Richmond, but since expanded to other federal districts and repackaged as "Project Safe Neighborhoods." But not every such gun case can be taken to federal court. Some are hard to try, and the feds usually only "adopt" the slam dunk cases. Many federal judges complain about "federalizing" such customarily local cases. So the states have begun to enact their own tough mandatory time for felon-in-possession laws. Virginia some years back enacted just such a package of laws, called "Virginia Exile." Our gun statutes are, in some instances, even harsher than the feds'.

Pennsylvania would be better served sending up convicted felons caught in possession of a gun for mandatory jail terms than by enacting further useless gun control laws.

1 comment:

www.creatoristcollege.org said...

Many people,including District Attorneys don't know what they are saying. Most Felonies are just very minor "crimes" like shoplifting,passing a bad check or misuse of something and should not prevent anyone from possessing a firearm if that's needed in a home.
When mentioning Felonies people have a repulsive response,like if we were dealing with mass murders,rapists and armed bank robbers when,in fact, today almost anything can be classified as a "Felony". Additionally, under Federal Law any conviction which potentially carries a sentence of more than one years whether served or not is prohibited from possessing firearms,no matter what it is.
And misdemeanors too. In fact if you have an altercation with just throwing thing around your house you can be charged with with misdemeanor family violence and never be able to possess a firearm. Just think!
This is overkill. Those who justify such laws are stupid as some day they can be victim themselves and have no place to turn to.
Anyone interested can get a better view of these oppressive laws by visiting:usapoliticaltyranny.info