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GunRochester 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.

8 Responses to Gun Divide

  1. Perhaps Chief Sheppard would do well to acknowledge that the problem with “people who look like him” is not guns but social responsibility.

  2. One of the aspects of the law that I haven’t seen discussed yet is the impact of the background checks for ammunition purchases slated to go into effect next January.

    I’m a target shooter, using a .22 rifle. Up to now, I’d pick up a couple of boxes for a few bucks before I go to my usual Sunday practice at the range. However, the upcoming background check with the associated additional fees for every purchase means that it’s no longer cost effective unless I start purchasing very large quantities at once. So now the law is effectively encouraging me to keep very large quantities on hand, when I might only have a box or two at a time before. While I keep mine locked away in a safe, it’s a good bet that a lot of people don’t have one large enough to store the larger quantities that are going to become the norm after January – so now we’ll end up with a lot more unsecured ammo.

  3. Obviously OFlynn has taken his oath to support/defend the Constitution as more important than his political career/political correctness. The RPD chief could have stood up and said he would go after anyone with an illegal gun with full force and the DA could have stood there and said her office would cut absolutely zero plea deals in cases involving illegal guns…… but he chose to make it about race.
    I’ve grown tired of treating gun shot victims period, I don’t now nor have I ever cared what color/sex/class they are BUT all of the gunshot victims I’ve treated over the last 16 years don’t trump the tens of thousands of other citizens Right to legally obtain and keep a gun, even in the City of Rochester.
    Chief Shepard needs to print out a copy of his oath of office and read it out loud every day and then think of that, and only that, before he speaks out and confuses issues regarding race with issues of the Rights of every citizen. If he wants to go to speaking engagements out of uniform and address ‘brown on brown’ crime he may do so, but if he is appearing in uniform his answer should be “I took an oath and I will uphold it”:. Period.

  4. What you have is the opinion of an elected official and the “official” opinion of a political appointee in a heavy democrat administration. I wonder if that really is Shepard’s opinion. Either way, the Safe Act won’t do anything to stop gun violence. All it is is the next step in the Democrat plan to strip the people of their firearms. For whatever reason, they don’t think we need/deserve the ability to defend ourselves

  5. Exactly Bill. So as an appointed official he should shut up and quote his oath just like any beat cop should do. But the administration won’t allow the department heads to remain apolitical because it doesn’t further their political agenda, which should never be confused with ‘doing the right thing for the citizenry’. In my mind statements such as Shepard’s invalidates anything said by the person holding that office as it shows politics and agenda are always paramount. I have yet to see any appointed city official resign in protest. They have left (been forced out) but not until they lined up cushier jobs (see the last 2 fire chiefs and all of the police chiefs since Warshaw).

  6. Hot topic and it should be no surprise that myself, living in a suburb, supports the constitution and the second amendment. This “Safe Act” law is a joke. One needs to acknowledge that laws mean nothing to those that would commit crimes against their fellow humans. Lets see how the law plays out in the case against the straw purchase of the guns used in the Webster tragedy. I believe the law calls for a prison sentence of up to ten years. I can’t think of any excuse why this crime should not be punished to the maximum. I would be surprised if she gets any jail time at all. This is a perfect example of these feel-good type laws….they are not enforced. This Safe Act is another feel-good law that will only effect law abiding citizens in a negative way. It will do NOTHING to stop or deter illegal gun activity. The only means to reduce urban crime involving guns is for the RPD and its Chief to actively enforce the existing laws and for the DAs office to prosecute offenders and for the civil rights activists to support these efforts. Sadly, this will never happen.

  7. March 15, 2013 at 5:57 am TechnologyProfessional responds:

    These are laws meant to harass undesirable citizens (gun enthusiasts, people who believe in self-defense and self-reliance, “scary” people), encouraging them to move south or west. Public safety statistics will not get better as we disarm, they will get worse, but nobody will argue on that basis for repealing this odious law, because by then the gun lobby will have left the state.

    Statistics for NY State in 2010 (most recent available): 861 murders, 2758 forcible rapes, 28380 robberies, 43728 aggravated assaults. All four numbers were lower in 2009, so these are not best-case rosy numbers. Yet who is willing to bet that numbers for 2013 or 2014 or 2015 will be lower than this when they’re finally published? They will almost surely be higher (despite population loss). Crime thrives in a disarmed environment. Criminals seek out the weak, and we are declaring ourselves to be the weak, the targetable.


  8. The sad fact in NY and the US, is murder is concentrated in the urban areas and inside those areas it is further concentrated into certain neighborhoods. It happens everywhere, but the majority is in the cities. It is most certainly not a gun problem. The areas that have the highest rates of legal firearm ownership do not have high amounts of crime.

    The problem is the real common factors are race/economic, so its not an easy discussion to have or an easy topic to fix. Maybe politicians don’t want to solve the problems. Maybe many of the economic problems that disproportionately affect blacks are also the reason they are disproportionally represented in the murder stats. And if we improve this problem, what else will we have to solve? Makes it hard to get re-elected.

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