Milwaukee is one of a number of American cities to experience a dramatic increase in homicides. Now, according to CBS News, Police Chief Edward Flynn is claiming that “absurdly weak” gun laws are to blame. Despite that assertion, cities such as Baltimore and Chicago, which have restrictive gun laws, are also dealing with a surge in homicides and gun-related crime.
Ironically, Flynn himself voiced a more plausible reason for the escalation, saying that dwindling resources are affecting performance. “A lack of parole and probation officers means that police officers have to conduct parole checks; a lack of mental health services means that officers have to pick up that slack.”
Last year, in a vote held by Milwaukee’s police union, 99 percent of officers who cast ballots said they had “no confidence” in Chief Flynn. Perhaps he is not the most reliable barometer for the city’s crime problems.
Tulsa Women Fend Off Attempted Abduction
A meeting to return a borrowed vehicle went south when the borrower reportedly attempted to abduct the lender. Roy Lincoln Canterbery had arranged to meet his daughter’s mother in the parking lot of a Tulsa, Okla., children’s hospital at about 10 p.m. Saturday to return the Ford Escape he had borrowed. After the mother got into the SUV with Canterbery, their daughter became alarmed when she saw that Canterbery appeared to be trying to abduct the woman.
The daughter ran to the vehicle and managed to pull her mother out just as Canterbery was driving off. The mother then retrieved a 9 mm handgun from the vehicle she had arrived in and fired two shots at the SUV, but was unsuccessful in stopping the theft.
Police are still looking for Canterbery and the stolen vehicle, but fortunately neither mother nor daughter were hurt during the incident.
Vermont’s Laws Blamed For Gun-Running To New York
An article in the publication In These Times describes a thriving illegal trade in which guns from Vermont are exchanged for heroin from New York state. The thrust of this piece is that although the gun laws in Vermont are frequently lauded and tied to the state’s low crime rates, there are victims of these laws—New York residents who are being flooded by illegal firearms.
There are major problems with this argument, however. First of all, straw purchases are liable to happen anywhere criminals are present—that’s why they’re called criminals. More importantly, why place the blame squarely on Vermont for not heavily regulating guns? Aren’t the restrictive laws in New York actually causing the demand for illegal firearms? With historical hindsight, we can recognize that Prohibition spurred the dangerous liquor bootlegging trade; why not apply that same reasoning to guns?
Baltimore Announces Crime Crackdown
Rampant violent crime in Baltimore has prompted city officials to create a new “war room,” aimed at fighting violence around the clock.
Violent crime has boomed in the city since a man died while in police custody in April and widespread rioting ensued. The 42 homicides in Baltimore in May marked the deadliest month in the city in a quarter of a century.
Interim Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis told the Baltimore Sun that the new operations center will “ensure there are no gaps in our intelligence sharing, no gaps in our operational capacities, and no gaps in our overall commitment to identify the small number of folks who are harming our communities.” Davis said officials have identified “four different groups of bad guys who are responsible for a disproportionate amount of violence in Baltimore City, and we're going to work around the clock until we get to the point of probable cause to start taking those folks off the streets.”
Lever-Action Shotguns Headed For Australia?
Australian gun-banners are in a dither about the Adler Lever Action shotgun. It seems a little overwrought that a 165-year-old design should cause such a ruckus, but that’s gun-grabbers for you. The problem remains the same for Australians who wish for an Adler: They can only hope the new shotty will find its way into a relatively less-restrictive classification of ownership. The jitters are based on the highly subjective notion of the speed at which firing can occur, and the obsession with instrumentality.
Pay attention, folks: Remember that Aussie gun control is well and widely lauded by the likes of President Barack Obama, and it’s hard to believe 2016 Demo front-runner Hillary Clinton is far behind with comments like these. (Listen for the nifty sotto voce lie at ~1:00, too.)
A SAFE Act Rollback?
It’s safe to say New York’s SAFE Act has generated plenty of debate. And now, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s coveted gun-control bill stands under fire yet again. The latest twist involves an agreement reached late last week between Cuomo and Senate Republicans that suspends implementation of a statewide database for background checks on ammunition.
While this delay of SAFE Act provisions angers Democrats, Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, cautions making too much of the news. “It’s obvious when the facts came to light it wasn’t nearly as much as we were looking for.”
Of course, the SAFE Act has never been about practicality as much as Cuomo’s political posturing.