Democrats took the first big step in their gun grabbing agenda with a bill introduced by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA). Not surprisingly, Feinstein exempted government officials from the requirements imposed on law abiding citizens.
What's most irksome to me throughout this debate is how marginalized the voice of many in the law enforcement community has been. When George Bush was managing the war in Iraq badly the Dems shouted in chorus "listen to the generals." Of course that all changed when Obama became President so I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that the voice of law enforcement experts in reducing gun crime has been largely ignored. Unless of course those voices echo the gun grabbers agenda.
But why not listen to former New York police commissioner William Bratton? As New York's top cop in the mid 1990's he oversaw effective programs that took New York from the status as a major murder capital to one where violent gun crime is a much rarer occurrence.
Bratton supports some measure of gun restriction and registration but the measures he cites as most helpful are ones that many liberals oppose. We pick up the story in the Wall Street Journal as Bratton describes how he turned New York around:
For starters, they wouldn't ignore minor crimes such as prostitution, aggressive panhandling, excessive noise and underage drinking. It was an application of what would become famous as the "broken windows" theory, which held that even small signs of disorder would, if left untended, breed further disorder, crime and fear.
"Stop the behavior when it's small, stop the cancer when it's small," Mr. Bratton says, an approach he says is as useful today as it was then. It turns out that those who committed minor offenses often also committed major ones. When police started arresting subway turnstile-jumpers, one in seven had an outstanding warrant and one in 25 carried a gun.
Another innovation was the almost obsessive use of timely crime data to drive tactics and accountability. Police began questioning every person arrested with a gun about where, when and how it was obtained. Detectives were instructed to investigate all shootings as if they were murders.
Another part of the anti-violence solution was the 1968 Supreme Court ruling Terry v. Ohio, which held that a police officer is allowed to stop, question and frisk a person on the street if the officer has "reasonable suspicion" that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime. "Stop-and-frisk" became a central feature of policing—and now, in a transformed New York two decades later, it has become a matter of controversy. Liberals want it banned.
Critics of stop-and-frisk argue that it discriminates against blacks and Hispanics, who are the subjects of a majority of stops. Proponents say this simply reflects the demographic realities of crime. Although blacks make up only 23% of New York's population, for example, they accounted for more than 60% of all murder victims in 2011 and committed some 80% of all shootings. The issue is now in the federal courts, where for the first time a judge last week ruled a part of the program unconstitutional.recent ruling, he predicts a reversal "when it goes to the Supreme Court."
Listen to Sheriff David Clark of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin in the public service announcement where he declares that citizens must be partners with the police in their own defense. In a recent radio interview Sheriff Clark made it clear that it's too late to call 9-11 if the wolf is already at the door.
- If assault weapons are so bad why is the Dept. of Homeland Security buying 7,000 for "personal defense?"
- And what about the newspaper reporters whose paper published the names of people holding legitimate permits for firearms leading to at least one criminal attempt to steal the lawful weapons? When confronted on video reporters at the paper refused to stand up for their principles when asked to place a "gun free house" sign on their property.
- The top five gun control states (California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut (yes, CT, state where the Sandy Hook school shooting took place) average higher in gun crime than other states.
- Then there's the recently released confession of Jake Evans, a teen who killed his mother and sister after being inspired by a violent Hollywood movie. What a shame that Obama has had nothing to say about violence in films and music. Much of it coming from supporters of his campaign.
- Finally, a lengthy discourse on gun control from David Mamet, acclaimed playwright and author. Mamet is incredulous that we accept guns to protect banks and jewelry stores but not schools.