Las Vegas Sun

September 18, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Chicago of all cities should know better

Another view?

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I found it interesting that the Sun paper published an editorial from the Chicago Tribune (a city I once lived in before moving to Las Vegas) titled, “A vote for violence.” The Tribune editorial was talking about how shameful it was that the Senate failed to pass extended background checks on the hot topic of more gun control.

I would have thought the Chicago Tribune would have pointed out that its own city has gone even further on gun control. For years, Chicago banned handguns and now restricts them. And, as we also know, no one ever committed a gun crime there because it was not allowed/forbidden.

Perhaps this is another reason Chicago is one of the most violent gun crime cities in this country: The noncriminal population has had their gun rights taken away and now the criminals know they have the edge on them.

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Previous Discussion: 19 comments so far…

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  1. There has never been a credible study that I am aware of that definitively shows that increased background checks reduce gun crime. Gun crime in Chicago and elsewhere has many causes.

    Increased background checks are a law enforcement 'tool' that 'can' assist authorities in 'solving' the 'who did it' in gun crimes. On that basis, I can and do support increased background checks and gun registration.

    This whole argument over how background checks and registration affect gun crime is totally overblown. The truth is that the effect is tiny, either way. Let's have registration and background checks for the good and valid reason that it helps authorities solve gun crimes.

    Michael

  2. Chicago has one of the worse rates of gun violence and crimes in the country and one of the worse records of gun crime enforcement, prosecution, and sentencing. The two go hand and hand.

    Carmine D

  3. wtplv - "There has never been a credible study that I am aware of that definitively shows that increased background checks reduce gun crime."

    That is because NRA lobbyists and legislatures distort the collection of data by the FBI or CDC.

    When will people realize gun registration and background checks will attach a name to serial numbers when gun running? These weapons are bought in bulk, driven across state lines and sold out of the trunk of cars.

    Until recently I had no idea a person could purchase 50lbs. of black powder in a gun store without a background check.

  4. Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws on the books,but up to 80 percent of Chicago's murder's and shootings are gang related.

    In 2012 443 were shot dead in Chicago,65 were 18 years old or younger.

    I would say that Chicago has a gang problem,which needs more attention than it has been getting.Not until the gang violence is stopped or slowed down by a big percentage rate in Chicago is when we will see a drastic drop in murders in the windy city.

  5. Vernos,

    I don't think you will find me arguing against more complete background checks and gun registration. The 'fact' remains that logic says registration and background checks will make a tiny dent in gun violence. To claim otherwise flies in the face of logic.

    Advocates, such as you and supporters such as me, would make a better case if we just said that more complete gun registration and background checks should be implemented, not because they will stem gun violence in any large way, but because, logically, with guns, like cars, when something bad happens involving one, authorities are greatly assisted because the owner can be easily identified, as can any change of ownership over time.

    That is the better, more honest and logical argument to be made for increased registration and background checks.

    Michael

  6. Victor,

    Come on now. No matter if the gun was stolen, illegally transferred, etc. when authorities know to whom the gun was registered with originally, it assists in any investigation. No system is 'perfect', but background checks and gun registration are logical and worth steps.

    Michael

  7. The problem with enforcing gun laws is that there are over 400,000 gun crimes per year and prisons are jam packed. We don't have the space or money to throw millions more into the prison system.

  8. VidiVeritas: I'll agree with two of your positions: "If strict gun control can save just one life, then it is worth it." and "We have the right to keep and bear arms but citizens also have a superior right and that is 'The right to live.'"

    Currently, however, it is too early to be drawing conclusions about the Tsarnaev brothers. The most current info I've seen is that apparently there was no firearm found in that boat (and no idea why the police opened fire), that they probably had one 9mm pistol, that their explosives may have come, at least in part, from legally purchased fireworks. The pistol may have been privately purchased. If so, there would be no record of the purchase nor requirement for one (thank you, NRA). The younger brother was too young to have legally purchased a pistol in Massachusetts, but his brother may have been the buyer. Its serial number was illegally filed off but they may have done that themselves. Note all the weasel words.

    What can we say? One brother was shot in an exchange of fire with the police. One was injured and has been was charged with various crimes. (Note - not convicted, only charged.) That is ALL we KNOW! Speculation and theories are, of course, rife: personally, I'll reserve any other comment until we actually KNOW more.

  9. "This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer,our police more efficient and the world will follow our lead into the future."
    - Adolf Hitler, 1935

  10. I think it's progressive of America to want reform on gun policies given the rash of violent crime among nationals. But, we have to realize this is a light at the end of a long tunnel. There are still many guns out there that are not registered. There are also many guns that are sold, passed on, or stolen and not properly registered. Owners of guns before these laws will also not be subject to mental health evaluation. And if people start to turn down sales of guns to people based on mental health status will that be a form of discrimination? Or a break in that persons constitutional liberties?

    I think there's a lot more ground to be covered. That these new regulations are just a start.

    And to be more specific about cities like Chicago, it's a unique place, with a unique situation and population. To ignore the reasons for gun violence wont help solve the problem in that situation. A blanket policy will only go so far. The city has bigger problems with the economy, occupancy rate, and gang issues. Cities with large scale problems need to be looked at on a case by case basis. But, when you think of tragedies like Boston and Newton, you dont necessarily think of places that are plagued with gang related activity by any means. So, violence is not locked down to certain areas. It's quite unique for every instance.

  11. Victor_Eismine - "About 250k guns are stolen every year."

    Stolen from people who swear they need weapons for home protection. An interesting fact, isn't it?

  12. If we allow just about everyone who wants to have a assault rifle have one.We eventually could have people firing these weapons in the air at times of celebration,just like they do in the middle east. Talk about deatha and injuries from stray bullets landing just about anywhere from
    those that fired them.Try and take these weapons away from the crazies who could own them by the millions,if we allow this to happen.Laws need to be changed,and newer and more enforceable ones added.

  13. Teamster-

    While your fervor to see an "assault weapons ban", may be seen as admirable, your logic is flawed. The suspect at Sandy Hook had access to several other weapons that are fully legal, even if such a ban was inplace. He simply wouldv'e used them instead, A person intent on causing harm, such as the theater shooting, Columbine, Sandy Hook and Va. Tech will find a way to do so regardless of the laws in place. The killer at Va Tech used a Glock pistol and 10 rd magazines to carry out his crime, a perfectly legal weapon and magazine capacity that people are advocating. With a little practice, a shooter using a semi auto pistol and 10 rd magazines can go through 50 rounds in a rather short time.

    While I agree that something needs to be done, simply banning a .223 rifle because it has a pistol grip or telescopic stock isn't the solution. There are many versions of .223 caliber rifles that meet the requirement of your ban on weapons that are pefrectly legal. I agree with background checks and believe that a CCW permit should require some mandatory training in what to do when posed with a deadly threat. It's more about identifying the threats before they act and doing something about them. Many of these shooters were identified before they acted as unstable or unpredicatable, but nothing was done. It's great to focus on the weapons, but the determined person will overcome abstacles and find a way to act regardless of bans and lists.

  14. ""This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient and the world will follow our lead into the future."
    - Adolf Hitler, 1935

    Excellent quote Mr. Allison. History tells us that the majority of the Germans disagreed with Fuhrer Hitler but silently obliged. And the rest is history.

    Carmine D

  15. Unfortunately any ban now will not address the weapons already purchased and owned. They will simply grandfather these in. AS far as people not being accurate with a pistol, think of the settings these shootings took place. A theater, classrooms, and a university. These are close quarters settings. You don't have to be accurate when you are 10 feet away, it's point and shhot. The Va Tech killer simply walked up to many of his victims and shot them point blank as they tried to hide. Lanza had a room full of children more than likely huddled together with their teacher for comfort. Same in the theater and at Columbine, the shooters simply walked up and shot the majority of their victims at close range. No need for accuracy in most cases simple cold blooded point blank shots.

    It's cold byt true, these killers aren't looking to shoot in a tactical manner. They are cowards seeking easy targets. Most simply kill themselves when law enfocrement arrive, they have no stomach for a fight. Yes, something needs to be done, but don't think for a minute that any ban would have stopper these examples. As I said before, the worst shooting in recent history at Va Tech was done with a .40 cal. Glock semi auto pistol and 10 round magazines. The other issue is that a ban WIIL NOT STOP a determined killer. They adapt and find other ways to do their damage. Most of these listed were inteeligent people, even genius level types who planeed and executed their attacks. If you knew how easily a fully auto weapon could be obtained here in Las Vegas you would shudder. There are thousands of such illegal weapons in this city, in the hands of people who don't care about bans, street gangs, outlaw MC clubs, cartel members and so forth. I agree, we need to address the issues, but pleas don't think a ban is the be all do aal solution.

  16. Actually Hitler banned ALL POLITICAL PARTIES in Germany in 1933. Even worse than banning guns.

    "In 1938 existing controls on gun ownership were revised. 'Jews' were forbidden to own guns, but for others the existing law was in fact relaxed somewhat.

    Note that in Germany gun ownership has never been seen as a civil liberties issue. In other words, it's not a major issue."

    Carmine D

  17. PS: BTW, that's Weimar Republic with an 'a' not an 'e.'

    Carmine D

  18. BTW Der Fuhrer Hitler is credited with having a higher IQ than all the living Presidents in the U.S. today including the current one.

    Carmine D

  19. And Hitler did ban guns for the Jews in 1938. Tell us lad, what did Der Fuhrer do to the Jews.

    On Hitler's IQ versus the current living Presidents, look it up for yourself.

    Carmine D