Gun Laws Should Be Uniform, And Only The Feds Can Do It
The issue of gun control has been put back on the front burner both by the Colorado movie shootings and the spate of gun violence in Rockaway and the rest of the city. The fact is, there have been more than a dozen shooting incidents in Rockaway since the beginning of summer, two of them where people were killed. Perhaps we should be happy that gun thugs don’t have better aim, but the fact is that random violence can happen anywhere at any time. Witness the recent Beach 118 Street event where two gun thugs knocked on a door and then pushed their way into a home. Only the fact that one of the residents fought back kept the event from turning into a tragedy. The problem is that guns are available on most Far Rockaway street corners and that has to be stopped. Anybody from Rockaway can jump in a car, drive to Pennsylvania, Virginia or Florida and find a local with identification who is willing, for a hundred bucks or so, to go into a gun store and buy four or five semi-automatics. Those guns are then brought back to Rockaway and sold to gangbangers and gun-thugs who use them to kill each other as well as innocent bystanders. New York City and State have some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. In many states, however, it is as easy to get a gun as it is to get a piece of pizza. Only the federal government can do something to stop the interstate transportation of weapons. Many of our federal legislators are beholden to the National Rifle Association and its millions of dollars in campaign contributions. They are also cowed by threats that NRA money will be used to defeat them should they stand up to the lobby. They should stand up and be counted. First, they must bring back the ban on assault weapons. There is no reason that a civilian needs a weapon that can fire 100 rounds in 60 seconds; not for sport, not for hunting, not for home defense. Second, there needs to be a database of all guns sold throughout the nation so that they can easily be traced. Third, microstamping is a must for the police to be able to track gun thugs. Fourth, there should be steep penalties for people who transport weapons across state lines if those weapons are later used in a felony. We should hold our federal legislators to a higher standard and hold their feet to the fire on this issue. The life you save may be your own.