Readers' turn to write

Why do politicians insist on avoiding the real problems of crime and violence facing society and instead concentrate their efforts on useless, even distracting “projects”? Their claims of wanting to help solve problems instead results in hurting honest citizens by ignoring the real issues.

Recently New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn announced the creation of a “task force” to address the issue of youth-related gun violence in the city. In her announcement she stated the council’s task force will work with academic experts, law enforcement and community based groups across the five boroughs to examine the root causes of gun violence, locate resources to combat gun violence and develop additional ways of tackling the problem across the city.

Does anyone not see the misdirected focus of her statement? Gun violence is not the real and actual problem — violence is. Quinn distracts people’s thought process away from individual and group criminal behavior to focus on guns. What about knives? Or baseball bats?

It is violence in general that is poisoning NYC communities. And the only way to address this root problem is to attack criminal behavior. Society must react in a positive way by taking off the legal shackles and blinders from police. Politicians must require prosecutions of violent criminals by denying plea bargains and instead requiring by statute longer prison sentences. If they are locked up, the criminals can’t hurt more good people. 

What about the honest, law-abiding citizens who live in these crime-ridden communities? They must be unshackled as well. They have an absolute right to self defense. But NYC and New York state laws and regulations make it virtually impossible for the law-abiders to protect themselves from violent criminals. This situation has got to be turned around.

Recently, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman claimed a “major court victory” as he defended the state’s requirement that anyone wishing to carry a concealed handgun in public must first obtain a special license to do so. 

And while this “victory” places the issuance of such licenses at the whim of politically active judges who may not appreciate today’s increased need for personal self defense, it also flies in the face of two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that ruled that the Second Amendment gives all honest citizens the absolute right to keep and bear arms and states cannot prohibit or alter that right in any significant way.

The court decision that the AG is touting as a victory in reality shouts that individuals don’t have a constitutional right to carry a gun for self defense in public. Bearing arms is apparently not an individual right in New York despite the clear legal language found in the Heller and McDonald decisions stating that it is.

It is doubtful anyone would not agree that New York, both city and state, has a major problem with violence. But ignoring the criminal element within society while focusing on the tools used by those criminals is simply insanity.

New York officials should direct their efforts toward the real problem, which is a judicially coddled criminal element. If they want to reduce all violence, and not just “gun violence”, then the reality is that they have to lock the criminals away from society. There is no other answer to the problem of violence.

And the irony of this situation is that, by incarcerating criminals, the bureaucrats would indirectly yet significantly reduce gun violence, and knife violence, and baseball bat violence, and every other kind of violence that exists.

(Mr. Lisenbee lives in Rushville.)

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