Skip to comments.Crime, gun violence brings attendees to conference
Posted on 01/12/2013 7:24:27 AM PST by Tailgunner Joe
MINNEAPOLIS Information and examples of how to reduce gun violence will be shared at a regional conference on gun violence Thursday.
Law enforcement leaders and elected officials from several Midwestern cities and scholars who study crime and violence are expected to participate in the day-long conference in Minneapolis.
Mayor R.T. Rybak said the planning of this regional gun summit began last year before the mass shootings at Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis and at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut. He said those tragic events have added urgency to efforts to fight gun violence. Rybak said it is important for leaders from cities around the region to meet and figure out how they can help each other.
"What happens in Chicago, or Milwaukee, or St. Cloud, or Minneapolis or Kansas City or smaller cities in between can have some connection," Rybak said. "We want to see if there are issues about that. But mostly, we want to share ideas."
Rybak has invited the mayors from some of those cities. Police chiefs and county attorneys from around the region are also expected to attend. The conference will include presentations from scholars who will address both law enforcement strategy and gun policy.
Rybak, who supports stronger gun laws, said he first wants to address how cities can best enforce the laws that are already on the books.
"I don't jump to law changes first. There are issues of mental health. There are issues of how we access issues in the community," Rybak said. "There are very specific issues about who is arming our kids, which is outrageous to me."
TRACING THE SOURCES
While guns used in crimes do come in from out of state, most firearms that turn up at Minnesota crime scenes were originally purchased here.
According to the most recent trace data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in 2011 nearly half of the more than 2,000 firearms recovered in Minnesota were first bought in the state. The next most-frequent gun source was Wisconsin, which was the source of 70 guns.
With regards to regulations, gun control advocates say Minnesota is already fairly restrictive compared with other states. Sam Hoover, attorney with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said his group assigned letter grades to each state. Hoover says Minnesota rated a "C."
"Minnesota actually has done a decent amount in terms of gun violence prevention laws," Hoover said.
Hoover said Minnesota has more restrictions on who can legally possess a firearm than many other states and it also has laws that make it a crime to improperly store a gun in the presence of children.
But Minnesota can do more, Hoover said. For instance, he said the state could require background checks in private gun sales and require gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms. He also would like to see measures to address trafficking.
"Minnesota can improve their law by deterring bulk purchases of handguns or other firearms," Hoover said. "Which is also a tool used for firearms traffickers."
He said Minnesota has a low gun death rate compared to other states. The most recent data from the Minnesota Department of Health show that in 2010, 347 people in the state were killed by gunfire; 279 of those deaths were suicides, 64 were homicides, and four were unintentional shootings.
However, not every state with restrictive gun laws has a low gun death rate. The state of Illinois has more strict gun laws than Minnesota, but gun violence in Chicago helped fuel more than 500 homicides in that city last year, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Some gun rights supporters, like Felicia Herman of Minneapolis are skeptical of the research commonly cited by people who support stricter gun laws. Herman, a reference librarian and the widow of author, gun rights activist and firearms instructor Joel Rosenberg, said the studies are often based on biased research.
"You really have to come in without any pre-judgment or looking for data to fit the conclusion that you want," Herman said.
She said researchers should consider a wide range of factors that contribute to violence, not just the presence of guns.
This argument and others are at the center of a fierce national debate that will likely intensify in the coming weeks as the federal government likely considers new gun control measures.
For all of those who believe in self-defense, here is a very good read: In the Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection [Massad F . Ayoob]
Liberals are starting to remind me of Humphrey Bogart in “The Caine Mutiny”. Obsessed, glassy eyed, mumbling “It was the assault weapons. I knew I had them with the assault weapons”. Clearly bat sh!t crazy, but convinced they are right and justified and will never give in.
“The Gun Is Civilization”
By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force . If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it .
In a truly moral and civilized society , people exclusively interact through persuasion . Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may
sound to some.
When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force .
The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.
There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we’d be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger’s potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by
legislative fiat - it has no validity when most of a mugger’s potential marks are armed.
People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly .
Then there’s the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.
People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don’t constitute lethal force, watch too much TV , where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier, works solely in favor of the weaker defender,
not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.
The gun is the only weapon that’s as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply would not work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn’t both lethal and easily employable.
When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded . I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation... And that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act !!
By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.)
So the greatest civilization is one where all citizens are equally armed and can only be persuaded, never