LETTER: Gun violence is what needs to be controlled

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LETTER: Gun violence is what needs to be controlled

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By:Daniel Ross
Posted: 4/24/07

"The Changing Gun Debate," an article written by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in response to the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech, can be found in the April 30 issue of Newsweek. I applaud his insight and his efforts; Mayor Bloomberg is leading an uphill battle against gun crime.

For as long I can remember, the gun debate has been about special interests -- on both sides. Our political leaders remind us that they are concerned about guns in America and either passionately advocate or decry gun regulation.

Our two parties are entrenched in this opposition. Sadly, this debate is far more about ideology and not at all about restoring the peace and safety of American homes, businesses and schools. Mayor Bloomberg proposes a middle ground that sidesteps the dogma of regulation. He intends to stop gun crime, and he is making measurable progress doing so. In the past six years, murders in New York City have dropped 40 percent.

Specifically, Bloomberg wants to stop crime perpetrated with illegally purchased guns. Although the Virginia Tech shooter legally purchased his weapons, most criminals do not. Most criminals who use guns purchase them illegally. "FBI statistics show that violent crime is on the rise across America," writes Bloomberg, and the weapon of choice is an illegal gun.

Unfortunately, our federal government is doing little to help the fight against illegal guns. In fact, Bloomberg says federal regulations prevent his police department and cities across the nation from using the resources they need to bust illegal gun dealers.

"Statistics show that 1 percent of dealers sell more than half of all illegal guns," Bloomberg said. In order to stop the sale of these weapons and keep them out of the hand of criminals, Bloomberg started a coalition called Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Now, more than 200 cities participate, sharing information about the sale of illegal guns.

Our national debate on guns must change. Following Bloomberg's example, our Federal government should aggressively combat the sale of illegal guns in America. It should share the information that local and state law enforcement officials need to stop gun crime.

Ultimately, a debate on gun crime cannot be one of ideology, but must be one of law enforcement. No matter how stringent or lenient the regulations our society places on legal gun ownership, the majority of criminals will still use illegal guns. Bloomberg supports law enforcement because he wants to stop gun crime.

Our leaders should stop concerning themselves with whether or not an average American citizen should be able to own guns: Our Constitution explicitly provides for gun ownership. Instead, our leaders must stop gun crime. The only way to stop gun crime in America is unequivocal, uncompromising support of law enforcement from the federal government and its agencies.

Let's follow Bloomberg's lead. With support for law enforcement, we can end the epidemic of gun crime in America.

Daniel Ross
CFA '10

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Original Source:<a href=http://media.www.dailyfreepress.com/media/storage/paper87/news/2007/04/24/Opinion/Letter.Gun.Violence.Is.What.Needs.To.Be.Controlled-2876897.shtml>The Daily Free Press - April 24, 2007</a>

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Daniel Ross

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The Daily Free Press

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2007-08-13

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Sara Hood

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Matt Negrin <editor@dailyfreepress.com>

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eng

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Daniel Ross, "LETTER: Gun violence is what needs to be controlled," in The April 16 Archive, Item #1030, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/1030 (accessed December 18, 2014).