Monday, September 27, 2010

Mayors Against Illegal Guns

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Unfortunately, the states that make it easiest to buy guns don't always suffer the criminal consequences of their lax gun laws.   The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) traced more that 145,000 guns used in crimes in the United States in 2009 and found that nearly a third had been purchased in other states.

A study released by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group of over 500 city mayors headed by Michael Bloomberg of New York City, stated that 49% of the guns that crossed state lines and were then used to commit crimes came from just 10 states - places where it is easy to buy guns, often in large quantities, with very little hassle.  The states most apt to be arms suppliers for criminals in other states were:  Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Texas, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California, and Arizona.

Several of those states are in the south, where the Federal government has always been somewhat suspect, thus making it easier to justify lax gun laws by whipping up a fear that the government is hatching a plan to come and get your guns.  Indiana, with its strong Ku Klux Klan past and ultra-conservative posture also fits nicely into that category.

Several years ago Washington, DC, passed a district ordinance forbidding private ownership of handguns within the District of Columbia.  The National Rifle Association went apoplectic and spent several tons of gun manufacturers' money fighting to have the will of the District overturned.  They finally succeeded at the Supreme Court level.  Most of those Washington, DC, guns came from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

And then there is Arizona.  The sand goobers sell guns, often by the carload, that quickly find their way to drug traffickers and gangs in Mexico, and then when those same weapons are involved in drug crime north of the border, the uber-patriotic Arizonans use those crimes to stir racial hatred and peddle more guns.  It's a sweet little racket - arming both sides - capitalism at its finest.

States were also ranked according to the number of guns they exported compared to the size of the states' population (number of gun exports per 100,000 population).  The top ten from that standpoint were:  Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alaska, Alabama, South Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Nevada, and Georgia.

The mayors would like to have some real control over crime in their cities, but as long as there are no national standards related to gun sales, that goal will be unattainable.  If the only solution to rampant crime is to arm the entire citizenry, we, as a nation, are standing on the precipice of disaster - while the gun industry gets richer and richer!

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