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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 8/9/2002 4:23:47 AM EST
[url]http://www.freep.com/voices/columnists/eguns8_20020808.htm[/url] August 8, 2002 BY DONNA DEES-THOMASES AND CAROLYNNE JARVIS So far this year, 10 Detroit-area children were killed by guns. How can we, as a community and a state, stop this rising tide of gun violence? Other communities that have stood at the dangerous intersection of young people and guns provide a good lesson. The similarities between school shootings in Littleton, Colo., and Erfurt, Germany, are striking -- troubled kids, access to guns and unbearable tragedy. Even more striking: the difference between the two countries' responses. In Littleton, two teenagers gunned down 13 schoolmates and teachers before killing themselves. The law prohibited the underage Columbine High School killers from owning their private arsenal, including a semiautomatic weapon. But the consistent failure of state legislatures or the federal government to implement strong enforcement mechanisms -- like universal background checks, the licensing of gun owners and firearm registration -- made it easy for them to get their guns. All it took was a friend to pick up the murder weapons at a local gun show -- a friend who later testified that she never would have bought the guns if she had been subject to a background check. In the Erfurt case, Germany's gun laws were also insufficient to keep firearms out of the hands of a disturbed youth. Despite a history of troubles at school, a 17-year-old was legally authorized to own the 9mm handgun and pump-action rifle that he used to kill 17 people, including students, teachers, a policeman and himself. He obtained a German firearms license with relative ease -- no psychological examination required. But while nothing has happened three years after the Columbine High killings, seven weeks after the Erfurt shooting, the German parliament passed legislation that tightens the rules on gun ownership. The new laws don't preclude private ownership of guns, they just include common-sense measures: raising the age of ownership for firearms from 18 to 21; requiring that people under 25 seeking to purchase a gun pass a psychological examination; and banning pump-action guns. This measured response to a horrifying crime is exactly what the United States failed to do in Columbine's wake. Yes, early on, the U.S. Senate passed legislation that would close the infamous gun-show loophole and require background checks for all gun sales at these events. But that modest effort withered in the House. More recently, Senate leaders, including John McCain, R-Ariz., have introduced new legislation to close the loophole, but it's likely that these bills will suffer the same fate. Meanwhile, gun shows have become a reliable source of weapons used in crime and terrorism. In Michigan, Ali Boumelhem, linked to the terrorist organization Hezbollah, was convicted Sept. 10 of conspiring to smuggle guns and ammunition to Lebanon. Federal agents testified they saw him buying weapons at three gun shows. At the state level, stronger gun legislation is caught in a tug-of-war between widespread public support and gun industry opposition. While states such as California and Illinois have imposed tougher gun laws and defeated efforts to loosen gun regulation, the majority have done little. Even Colorado, home to the Columbine tragedy, failed to act -- until outraged voters tightened gun-show regulations by referendum. Some Michigan legislators, spurred by a well-funded gun industry lobby, plan to introduce legislation in the lame-duck session after the November elections that would allow concealed weapons in theaters, sports arenas and other public venues where they are currently banned. At the same time, they are blocking the introduction of legislation that would enable prosecution of illegal gun traffickers by mandating the tracing of all crime guns to identify when and where they crossed from the legal to the illegal market. The daily litany of gun violence kills nearly 30,000 Americans, including 1,200 Michigan citizens, each year and seriously injure at least three times that many. The incredible ease with which guns are available helped give the United States the highest rate of gun violence in any developed country in the world. Our attitude towards guns and gun violence is shockingly casual. And as a nation, we are continuing to pay the price. Nearly 90 Americans will die in our neighborhoods from gun violence, including suicides, today. And tomorrow, and the day after that. If we want to bring a stop to the daily drumbeat of gun violence, we must learn from the quick German response. DONNA DEES-THOMASES is the founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Million Mom March. CAROLYNNE JARVIS is executive director of the Lansing-based Michigan Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence. Write to them in care of the Free Press Editorial Page, 600 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48226.
Link Posted: 8/9/2002 4:36:33 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/9/2002 5:06:28 AM EST
When will you people learn? We have to ban those deadly high capacity pump-action guns! Everyone knows they are more deadly by far than the fully automatic assault weapons like the dreaded AR-15. The most deadly of all, the Henry Pump Action Carbine, must be banned first before more children die!!! It's for the children. toast
Link Posted: 8/9/2002 5:10:51 AM EST
This was posted yesterday guys. Keep up. [;D] [url]http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=138588[/url] Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...
Link Posted: 8/9/2002 6:36:29 AM EST
Yes, it was posted yesterday...but it still pisses me off today. The problem is that the liberal soccer mom bitches won't/can't actually come fight for them. Like ALL women, they will use their vaginas as a political weapon to force their candy-assed men to do their dirty work for them. [pissed]
Link Posted: 8/9/2002 6:38:58 AM EST
Didn't we fight WWII to STOP the last German leader who disarmed his people?
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