By Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President
There is a startling disconnect between the problems many of our urban areas face and the solutions advocated by gun-control advocates. In Chicago, for example, Police Superintendent Jody Weis says the city has more guns and more gang members than almost any other city in the country. The solution, according to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley? Keep enforcing a decades-old ban on handguns.
In Philadelphia, more than 47,000 fugitives wanted on bench warrants despite warrants being issued for their arrest. One in five armed robberies ends in a conviction. Children in one neighborhood are engaged in a "game" that involves identifying homeless individuals and then assaulting and robbing them. The solution, according to Mayor Michael Nutter and his allies on the City Council? An ordinance that would turn burglary victims into criminals themselves if they fail to provide a full accounting of missing firearms to police within 48 hours.
In California, budget cuts have put thousands of inmates back on the street before their sentences have been served, and some of them have gone on to commit heinous acts of violence against innocent people. Assemblyman Mike Feuer apparently thinks legal gun owners are a bigger problem, however, and instead of dedicating his time and energy to finding ways to keep convicted criminals behind bars, he wants to require that everyone who owns a rifle or shotgun register that long gun with the state or become a criminal.
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The FBI has estimated that in some of our major cities, gangs account for 80 percent of the violent crimes committed. Yet the mayors of these cities would rather team up with Mike Bloomberg and target legal gun owners than take on the gangs that are choking the life out of their most fragile and threatened neighborhoods.
Polls show fewer and fewer Americans are buying what the gun-control advocates keep peddling. But until the politicians turn their backs on the anti-gun crowd and embrace a true anti-crime and anti-gang policy that targets the perpetrators of violent crime instead of law-abiding gun owners, too many of our cities will remain dangerous places.