Indianapolis sets another record in 2017 for criminal homicides.
Three initiatives to tackle the problem of rising violent crime were outlined by Mayor Joe Hogsett in December.
1. Ramp up police staffing and return to foot patrols on narrow beats.
2. Strengthen partnerships with other law enforcement agencies to decrease gun crimes including guns illegally possessed by felons.
3. Bolster neighborhood partnerships by creating new positions in administration to better coordinate and foster street-level outreach.
There was no mention by the mayor of the threat posed by pending state legislation that would revoke the existing licensing requirement to carry a handgun on our streets. Current law requires a background check and fingerprinting to obtain a license. Republicans in the General Assembly are pushing this NRA drafted legislation to reward the NRA for their financial support in the 2016 elections. Such legislation will have a disproportionate effect on cities such as Indianapolis due to it’s high density of population versus rural areas. Failure to retain the current licensing requirement will result in more guns on our city streets and likely result in an increase in aggravated assault, firearm homicides, injuries and an increase in firearm use in conflict resolution. We would therefore recommend the addition of an initiative by the Mayor’s office to defeat legislation that would revoke the current licensing requirement.
The undying loyalty to the NRA by Republican members of Congress.
From the 12/20/2017 Washington Post article, I spoke my mind on guns, then my Senate confirmation was put on hold.
Dean L. Winslow, a retired Air Force colonel and flight surgeon, is a professor of medicine at Stanford University. His credentials include 35 years of experience in the Air Force (including 4 deployments to Iraq and two to Afghanistan after 9/11), experience in military and academic medicine, and in private practice , public hospitals, the Department of Public Affairs, the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industries and public health. He arrived at his confirmation hearing for appointment as assistant secretary of defense for health affairs the day after the mass shooting in Southerland Springs, TX. In the hearing, he stated how insane it is that in the United States of America a civilian can go out and buy a semi-automatic weapon like an AR-15. Senator John McCain, (R-Ariz.) interrupted, warning that this was not in his area of responsibility or expertise. Soon after, his confirmation was put on hold and later Dr. Winslow withdrew his name from consideration.
After the Feds made it easier for fugitives to get guns, California took action.
Excerpt from The Daily Bulletin of The Trace, December 20, 2017.
As officials across the country grapple with a rule change that makes it easier for some people with outstanding arrest warrants to legally buy guns, California passed a bill that legislators say addresses the risk for their state. The law comes in response to a change in the Department of Justice’s definition of who qualifies as a “fugitive from justice”, a category of people prohibited from buying a gun. Previously, anyone with an open arrest warrant couldn’t possess a firearm. The new narrower rule considers someone to be a fugitive only if they fled across state lines to avoid prosecution. Critics say that the DOJ’s rule change means that an unknown number of people – likely tens of thousands nationwide – who had once been prohibited from buying guns would now be allowed to do so.
Does a gun in the home make a family safer?
A recent study by The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence reveals that the answer to that question is an emphatic no.
A gun in the home dramatically increases the possibility that someone will be shot and killed. The study ranked states by percent of adults with a household firearm and the number of household gun deaths per 100,000 of population.
Number 1 was Alaska with 60.6% of adults with a household firearm and 19.59 deaths per 100,000 population. Number 50 was Hawaii with 9.7% of adults with a household firearm and 2.71 deaths per 100,000 population. The number of deaths per 100,000 of population are directly proportional to the percentage of households with a firearm.
Studies show that 82% of firearm suicides among youth under age 18 were from firearms belonging to a family member. A 2006 study found that 73% of children under age 10 living in homes with guns indicated they knew where the gun was located in the house and 36% admitted they had handled the firearm.
In Asheboro, NC, a mother heard a gunshot while cleaning her home. Her 3 year old son shot her boyfriend’s 3 year old daughter with an unlocked and loaded .22 caliber rifle the parents had left in the room.
In Fayette County, PA, a 2 year old took his stepfather’s pistol out of his mother’s purse and shot himself in the head.
In Houston, TX, a 5 year old boy picked up a loaded rifle and shot his older brother in the back.
Fourteen states plus DC have laws that impose criminal liability on persons who negligently store firearms where minors could or do gain access to the firearm and the person knows or reasonably should know that a child is likely to gain access to such firearm. Common sense gun laws help remind our friends and neighbors that gun ownership mandates gun responsibilities for the safety of all.