January 18th, 2010 01:47 PM
Kansas City Star Story this Weekend
Register guns to take aim at urban crisis
By C.W. GUSEWELLE
The Kansas City Star
As last year drew to its close, a story in The New York Times reported a bit of encouraging news. In what is by far the largest U.S. city, population nearly 8,364,000, the total of 466 homicides in 2009 was the fewest in any year since 1963.
Doing the math — dividing the number of people by the number of murders — it meant that one New Yorker out of every 18,000 was at risk of being slain.
It piqued my interest, so I decided to run the numbers for some other major American cities.
In Chicago, with 3 million people and 509 homicides, it turns out that one person in 5,894 was murdered.
In Los Angeles, population just over 4 million, the 742 victims amounted to one in every 5,480 residents.
Lastly, I did the computation for our city, Kansas City, this sweet and civil Midwestern place we celebrate as the Heart of America, with a population of 475,800 and a 2009 murder count of 110.
It came to one person killed for every 4,326 people who live here.
No way! I thought. I did the calculation again. Then a third time. The numbers don’t lie. Statistically, the risk of being a homicide victim in Kansas City is 21 percent greater than in Los Angeles, 27 percent greater than in Chicago, and — try to get your mind around this — more than four times greater than in New York.
In short, this community we call home is an uncommonly dangerous place.
How to account for that? Maybe a trained demographer could come up with an explanation. I certainly can’t, and neither can our local police.
In our town, as around the country, there were some circumstances in common. Firearms, predominantly handguns, were by far the perpetrators’ weapons of choice — used in 94 of the 110 killings here — with the greatest numbers of victims between the ages of 16 and 34.
Families are shattered. Promising young lives are cut short. Whole neighborhoods become virtual prisons, where leaving home after dark, or even sitting on one’s own porch, may be an act of recklessness.
By one means or another, it must be stopped!
Will someone please tell me when the last time was that a well-intended protest march or a street corner prayer session prevented yet another senseless gun death?
I don’t ask that just to be provocative. My uninformed guess is that the actual life-saving effect of these public displays of anger and sorrow amounts to exactly zero.
The victims are buried. Their loved ones grieve. And the rattle of gunfire continues uninterrupted.
I’ve heard the slogan, “Guns don’t kill people. People do.” True enough. But guns are the killers’ preferred tools. It’s clear that unregulated firearms are key contributors to this crisis in American urban life.
I speak as someone who has hunted for more than a half-century, from my 20s onward. My days afield with friends, and often with dogs, have been a cherished part of my life.
As a matter of preference, I own no handguns. But even guns meant for sport can be misused in criminal ways. And for that reason I would welcome, and vigorously support, the mandatory registration of all firearms, including hunting guns like mine.
I would be altogether happy to provide authorities with a description, by make and model, place of origin, gauge or caliber, and serial number.
But in calls to my local police department and sheriff’s headquarters, I determined there presently was no provision for receiving and storing such information.
In fact, any talk of meaningful gun regulation in this country is all but meaningless.
What do you think?
January 18th, 2010 01:56 PM
I hope is stays meaningless. Someone wanting to put there head in the sand and let some law take care of what cannot be taken care of. Register all guns. Hmmm i think we are there already. I know the last rifle I bought I had to fill out paper work on. So somewhere there is a paper trail. For sure there is a paper trail on my pistols. How much more is needed.
Don"t let stupid be your skill set....
Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means, that you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you......
January 18th, 2010 02:18 PM
If you want to register your guns so bad, move down here to Omaha, NE. They'll be more than happy to register them for you. In fact, the law requires you do so upon entering city limits. :)
January 18th, 2010 02:21 PM
Like many you are not looking at the root cause, guns, knives, baseball bats are not the problem.
You are right I doubt protest help in anyway except maybe raise a little awareness, but awareness for what?
The problem is a lack of respect for life and a society of people who only look out for themselves. How did we get to where we are? I believe there is a combination of factors; 1 the break down of the family structure, 2 a lack of hope, 3 dependence upon government, and 4 an entitlement attitude.
Instead of protest how about men standing up to their responsibilities and being the head of the household, when things get hard work harder at your relationship. Be an example as a father, work hard and stop depending on the government. Stop thinking you are entitled to everything and expecting a handout. Stop with the victum attitude.
Look at the real cause of problems, guns are not the problem spend your time, talents and treasure working on the root causes.
January 18th, 2010 02:36 PM
Sorry Pete, history tells us that compulsory gun registration is the first step to collecting them all, ask Adolph. Taking away the guns will not fix crime, as Elk Hunter says criminals will switch to knives, bats, sticks, rocks or whatever is available, check out England no guns but lots of knife murders. A well armed militia is what made this nation and a well armed militia is the only thing keeping the Obomunists honest.
Assault is a type of behavior, not a type of hardware.
How can you praise freedom, and condemn that which gains and preserves it?
January 18th, 2010 02:50 PM
And how many of those guns used were bought and possessed legally?
and I can't help to assume some (or most) of the deaths were gang related. So, if a gang member shoots another gang member, is it really: "Promising young lives are cut short."
January 18th, 2010 03:46 PM
All firearms in this country are already highly regulated. There are thousands of pages of state and federal laws, rules, regulations, prohibitions, forms, and case law that dictates how you can manufacture, tax, repair, buy, sell, give, store, load, carry, transport, operate, discharge, and dispose of a firearm. If that is not highly regulated, I don't know what is.
unregulated firearms are key contributors to this crisis in American urban life.
The only other thing that I can think of that is so highly regulated is alcohol.
I think he means firearms in the hands of thugs who are willing to commit robbery, rape, and murder are are key contributors to this crisis in American urban life.
The argument that one more regulation is going to solve all our social and crime problems is fundamental flawed. Criminals are not bound by the law. Any new regulations will fail just like the old ones have. Criminals are only bound by "street economics". They are the last true capitalists.
"a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.
January 18th, 2010 03:53 PM
I fail to see how the registration of weapons will cut down on crime of any type. Especially the registration of the weapons of honest people.
Originally Posted by Pete14
Cars are registered and that doesn't cut down on traffic violations.
Voters are registered and that doesn't cut down on voter fraud.
Letters can be registered and I still get junk mail.
So explain this to me. How will registration cut down crime?
"Lots of bullets means lots of chances to make use of expert marksmanship skills" --- Gecko45
"Some people ask: shoot to maim, or shoot to kill? I say, empty the chamber and let the good Lord decide." - Deputy Garcia (Reno 911)
January 18th, 2010 04:13 PM
Hey guys, those are not Pete14's words. It is an article from a newspaper.
The writer of the article has no clue. Registering guns are not going to stop gun violence. Criminals don't care about the law. The idiot who wrote the article would probably happily turn in his guns when the call for confiscation came down. If he wants to go stick his head in the sand and pretend that registration will solve the problem, there is probably nothing that can change his mind.
January 18th, 2010 04:29 PM
Amen to that! I just posted the article. I actually have unregistered guns and am happy about it!
Wow talk about jumping to conclusions.
Calm down I don't plan on taking your guns or making you register them!
January 18th, 2010 04:42 PM
Good thing Pete! That statement definitely won't get you into the NRA Hall of Fame.
Calm down I don't plan on taking your guns or making you register them!
"A Smith & Wesson always beats 4 aces!"
The Man Prayer. "Im a man, I can change, if I have to.....I guess!" ~ Red Green
January 18th, 2010 04:49 PM
How does making it more difficult for law abiding citizens to own hand guns keep criminals from obtaining illegal hand guns? Where is the logic here?
NRA Life member
A muscle not exercised will eventually atrophy.
A right not exercised will eventually be taken away!
January 18th, 2010 05:22 PM
How many of these upstanding citizens possessed the guns legally?
How many had multiple convictions?
How many were let back on the streets by bleeding hearts?
My experience is that most gun crimes are committed by hardened criminals, with multiple arrests/convictions, and no respect for law or life. How did they get that way? Bleeding heart liberals in positions to think they can be "rehabilitated" by slapping their wrists.
Want to solve gun crime. Give the laws their teeth back. Make the risk of being caught outweigh the risk of doing the crime. Don't lay the gun crime issue at the feet of gun owners when it belongs at the feet of the people who return these thugs to the street to pray on unprepared citizens. I'm tired of that crap! And I'll take the heat for saying it if I have to.
January 18th, 2010 05:27 PM
This is why I cancelled my subscription to the Kansas City Star years ago.
It is nothing more than a liberal rag that always supports a certain liberal party. (Where's the puking emoticon when I need it?)
Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy. — Winston Churchill
January 18th, 2010 05:28 PM
So...if I register my guns I will prevent a number of murders in Jacksonville? I guess that should mean if we all register our guns there will be no more murders.
I wish he would explain how that will work.
Wait, I just thought of something -- the thugs that are doing the killing might not register their guns.
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