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Michael Nevin Jr. - Contributor

Michael Nevin Jr. is a 3rd generation California law enforcement officer and freelance writer. Mike's writing explores many topics ranging from the War on Terror to issues facing America's police officers. Mike is a contributing writer for several Internet websites including ChronWatch, American Daily, Renew, and Men's News Daily. He can be contacted at [go to Nevin index]

The San Francisco or Sam Colt Solution
Crime and Guns.
[Michael Nevin Jr.] 1/13/05

If you had a flat tire, would you fix the problem by replacing your car’s muffler? I know, it sounds funny. But that’s exactly the logic permeating throughout San Francisco’s City Hall. When San Francisco’s murder rate spiked in 2004, it could only be expected that local politicians would seek a solution.

Understanding the problem and using a bit of common sense could go a long way in dealing with such a serious issue, but the idea being floated around City Hall leaves a lot to be desired. Several San Francisco supervisors have proposed a ballot measure urging voters to approve a sweeping handgun ban. If you think that Mr. and Mrs. Law-Abiding Citizen are to blame for a surge in murder, then I’ve got oceanfront property for sale in North Dakota. In fact, they are exactly the ones who would suffer because of this myopia.

Is firearm violence out of control? Not according to the National Crime Victimization Survey. It found that from 1993 through 2001 violent crime declined 54%, weapon violence went down 59%, and firearm violence decreased by 63%. Thirty-four states now have “shall issue” Right-to-Carry laws, up from ten in 1987. In fact, unintended consequences can follow tough gun laws. John Lott explained this paradox in his book with a title that says it all, More Guns, Less Crime.

But, alas, San Francisco wants to join Washington D.C. at the forefront of gun prohibition. However, D.C. has nothing to brag about after its handgun ban went into effect nearly 30 years ago. Not only is it our nation’s Capitol, but in 14 of the past 15 years, Washington D.C. has the dubious distinction of also being known as the murder capital of the nation.

It is simply incredible that the gun control lobby still perpetrates the myth that guns are to blame for societal ills. What they don’t want you to know is that empirical research continues to challenge their feckless arguments. ”Current research and data on firearms and violent crime are too weak to support strong conclusions about the effects of various measures to prevent and control gun violence,” says a new report from the National Academies' National Research Council. The panel for this report, appointed during the Clinton Administration with all but one researcher known to be supporters of gun control, proposed that more research is needed. That may be nice, but some politicians want our guns now. Besides, the burden of proof should be on those trying to usurp our rights and freedoms - not the other way around.

If you want to fix that flat tire, grab the spare out of the trunk. If you want to deal with gun violence, go after the hardcore criminals responsible for the carnage. Proactive law enforcement targeting crime-infested neighborhoods has been proven to be the most effective way of curbing violence. With the help of federal authorities, local cops can target felons in possession of firearms sending them away for a decade or more under “Triggerlock” or “Project Exile” laws. Couple this approach with tough state legislation such as “Three Strikes,” and you have a recipe for success. What an interesting concept: actually utilizing current laws to prosecute offenders!

Cities across the nation that employ a “zero tolerance” approach to violent crime are reaping the benefits. New York City, which leads the way in policing tactics such as CompStat, saw its peak of 2,245 murders in 1990 drop to 571 in 2004. Chicago, the nation’s murder capital in 2003 with 598 homicides, watched as numbers fell to 447 in 2004. Police in the Windy City credited the Targeted Response Unit that saturates areas known for gang violence. Now if only these cities would loosen their strict gun control laws, a further drop in crime may be realized.

The tide has turned against gun prohibitionists. A memorandum opinion for the U.S. Attorney General states, “The Second Amendment secures a right of individuals generally, not a right of States or a right restricted to persons serving in militias.” The self-evident right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, their families, and their property is alive and well throughout most of America. But in places like San Francisco, this right is under constant attack.

Lawmakers should heed Machiavelli’s warning, “When you disarm them, you begin to offend them; you show that you distrust them either for cowardice or for lack of faith, both of which opinions generate hatred against you.” We live in a world where violent, brutal people threaten our livelihood. I wouldn’t recommend bringing a knife to a gunfight. As the old saying goes-God made men, but Sam Colt made men equal. CRO

copyright 2005 Michael Nevin Jr.




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