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Children are Dying in Cities – Gun Control Is the Issue

Mitt Romney has addressed the prestigious NRA and pledged his belief in the right of Americans to own guns. Over the years, he has voiced a variety of opinions on the matter, but he has now vowed support for the NRA and for the American Constitution.

Sure, we all support some gun ownership. As a boy and a young man I hunted pheasants, ducks, and geese; for the last two, crouching in a chilly and cold duck blind on Wonder Lake. I kept my 12 gauge shotgun clean and well oiled, and the decoys lived in the garage.

But living now in Chicago is another matter. In one week last year, 52 people were shot, at least eight fatally, in gang-related incidents.  A one year old girl was grazed on the ear on West Hastings Street, four men were shot in that incident. That same evening, a drive-by shooting over drug turf near South Kolin Avenue resulted in five people being hospitalized in serious to critical condition. Then, 10 minutes later, police were called to Humboldt Park, a short distance from where a Puerto Rican Day Festival was in full swing: two men were shot there, on West Division Street. Later, shortly after 9 PM, a fifteen year old girl was shot in the hand on West Evergreen Street.

We live in a much different world than the world our founding fathers knew. The old west was still new, and police were far sparser than today’s law enforcers. It made sense to allow Americans to carry firearms, but it doesn’t make sense today.

Some may consider the thinking of the drafters of the Constitution, and of the members of the Supreme Court, as it applies to gun ownership for a standing militia, and to oppose a potential tyrannical government. This is a compelling argument, but it may also be outdated and unrealistic.

The NRA is the granddaddy of all special interest groups. They support the candidates who support them. We see our politicians line up daily to address the gun makers to pledge their support to the all important lobby.

Children in Chicago are afraid to go to the store; they are afraid to play in their yards, afraid to step off the block. Consider the plight of eleven year old Maria Rivera: frightened of the guns and gangs in Chicago’s gang-rich Little Village neighborhood, Maria is a prisoner in her own home, where she spends her after school time indoors with her mother. She created an artwork for her fifth grade social studies project, It shows a little girl standing before a barred second floor window, looking out at the gangbangers and drug dealers on the street below. Maria told schoolmates, “I feel like a prisoner because I usually can’t go outside.”

Lets look at some relevant statistics. In homes with guns, a member of the household is almost three times as likely to be the victim of a homicide compared to a resident in a gun-free home. A study of 626 shootings in or around residences in three U.S. cities revealed that for every time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or a legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides. Another study concluded that regardless of good intentions, such as safe storage practice, and proper training, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide.

Politicians who change their standards, alter their moral beliefs as the need to win elections molds their thinking, are many and ubiquitous, and that’s a shame.

About John Lake

John Lake the tireless crusader of the liberal blog stymies us with his political and breaking news views. In addition he makes continuing contributions to the wide world of empirical science. And finally, his strange takes on life in the pursuit of humor are a treat and a delight.
  • John Lake

    Prime drivers of crime. We have deprivation. Do we mean hunger for ourselves and our children, or do we mean hunger for drugs, street status, power and fame?
    If a young man has a gun, will he be content to own it … or will he be driven by a need to fire the new toy, to utilize the weapon?
    That need to use the damned thing might even apply to home owners. Remember, home, apartment, and condo owners in impoverished areas are near the street or on it.
    A thought I hesitate to express; while most drugs propel crime, we might see an exception in the case of marijuana. Prior the colorful sixties, gangs with knives and guns fought in the streets over turf. With the coming of the magical era of Beatles and Stones, the gangs were gone, the violence was ended. People embraced peace, music, thoughtfulness, introspection…
    Mary Jane is far less harmful that liquor. A gangster on pot is less likely to kill in the streets, than to spend time grooving, saying, “Wow, dude, … check it out!”
    Just a thought.

  • Freedom

    The real issue is blacks and Mexicans, which is why the south has a higher murder rate…the south also has a higher black and Mexican population. Same with Detroit…but that isn’t the ultra politically correct answer Glen wants…

    In all the murders involving guns, what percentage are white, Glen??

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • Glenn Contrarian

    “Freedom” –

    Seeing as how a racist like you probably never served a day in our armed forces (I served twenty years), I guess it’s to be expected that you’re so quick to assume that you even know what freedom is.

    Now why don’t you do something completely different, and do some actual RESEARCH…because if your racist rant was as right as you seem to think, then I’d be hailing from the most dangerous place in America – Sunflower County, Mississippi, which is 71% black (which I believe makes it the highest percentage-black county in America).

    But it’s not.

    Furthermore, if you were right, then America’s homicide rate should be SKYROCKETING since we’ve got a higher percentage of blacks and Hispanics than ever before, even to the point that whites will make up less than half the nation by 2030.

    But America’s homicide rate isn’t skyrocketing – it’s PLUMMETING.

    So does that mean that more blacks and Hispanics mean less crime? Of course not. It just means that you haven’t a clue when it comes to what really affects a nation’s crime rate. Go get yourself edjimicated and then come back and talk to us and maybe you won’t embarrass yourself the next time.

  • John Lake

    There are violent white gangs in cities controlling drug “turf.”
    The key is to educate the entire population from early childhood. Keep them in school, and in after school monitored options.
    We caused the high level of black violence by our discrimination in years past.

  • Y’all

    How come my comment in reply to the alleged “Freedom” and, I thought, dripping in delicious irony, was removed by the editors here. Doc, didn’t you realise???? Maybe one can inadvertebtly be too ironic and such a failing doesn’t go unpunished on BC. I must learn to do better instead of staring out the window constantly. Oh, woe is me.

  • Christopher Rose

    Afraid that was me, Stan. It looked pretty ugly so clearly any irony didn’t come across, plus with you not using your regular name…

    Try again if you like!

  • Ethical Wells

    Simple solution to curb gun violence in urban communities, no research or surveys conducted just a thought. The federal government regulates a lot of shit right and violence is a huge business and if anyone disagrees well, don’t waste your breath talking to them anymore. I think the federal government should establish a social regulation bill on urban violence i.e., inner-city areas with extreme death rates caused by gun violence. The federal government regulates greenhouse gas emissions to improve the environment thus, to slow down global warming and to better human life. Why not regulate urban violence by imposing a gun-violence ordinance that would tax the city each time someone is killed due to gun violence. Gun-violence tax is a tax imposed on the citizens who live or work in urban communities, to decrease the death rate from firearms in order to improve society.

  • John Lake

    Fine the city for not being able to prevent individual actions of gun violence.
    The money would go to the Federal Government, but there wouldn’t be a whole lot of cash involved.
    But the implication is that the cities aren’t doing all they can to prevent the violence. Might work.

  • Bill

    Mr. Glenn,

    I’m not sure the last time you walked the streets of Manila, you may feel safe in the Fort but the rest of the city is becoming a shooting range. Daylight assassinations for minor luxury items are on the rise.

    Poverty is clearly the issue.

  • rsmith

    Why call us gun nuts? We prefer pro Rights

  • John Lake

    In cities, men, women and children are dying daily owing to (your phrase) “pro Rights.”