Rochester Police Chief Jim Sheppard and Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn demonstrated the urban-rural divide on gun control during a Rotary Club debate.
Sheppard supports the state’s new gun law, NY SAFE, saying he’s tired of seeing people who look like him shot to death and he hopes the law will make a difference. O’Flynn said he only remembers three homicides in which legal guns were used, implying the law won’t stop criminals.
Mayor Tom Richards, who supports NY SAFE, has said the law doesn’t address handguns, which are used in most urban gun crimes.
Why is that?
The Washington Post reported on a D.C. neighborhood plagued with gun violence, where residents question the national gun debate:
But the current political wrangling on the Hill has just served to underscore residents’ suspicions that Americans as a whole undervalue the lives lost to gun violence in inner-city neighborhoods such as theirs.
The focus on suburban shootings at the hands of unstable men armed with assault weapons also fails to capture the big picture of gun violence in America. Handguns are the weapons of choice in about 90 percent of gun crimes, with assault weapons used in about 8 percent.
Background checks are seen as most effective among the proposed gun measures in reducing urban violence. Anti-gang measures, more police officers, and even economic development are also seen as tools.
One thing that O’Flynn and Sheppard agreed on was the safe storage part of NY SAFE. But that only applies to people who live with convicted felons, are under orders of protections or have been involuntarily committed. I’d like to see a broader discussion of responsible gun ownership, including locking up guns. Many police officers lock up their own guns in their homes. Many guns are stolen from people’s homes and cars and wind up on the street.
Links of the Day:
– A six-month-old baby was shot to death in Chicago.
– Western New York dairy farmers want immigrants to milk cows.
– A state assemblyman says New York should not give the Bills $60 million to keep them around.
– It’s not unusual for New York governors and state lawmakers to bypass the public when passing laws.
– Detroit’s casino revenues plummet. New York better pay attention.
– London will get bicycle highways. The mayor unveiled a $1.3 billion plan for bike infrastructure.
– Alaska’s ferry to nowhere may have found a new home.