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How Can We Each Fight Gun Violence?

Some politicians have shared their ideas of how to curb gun violence. Now we invite you to jump into the discussion and share your thoughts in the comment section.

As Vice President Joe Biden prepares to meet with the National Rifle Association and other gun-ownership groups for talks at the White House Thursday, many politicians have voiced what they think should be done to curb gun violence. 

Among those politicians are several North Shore village mayors and presidents who recently joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to call for stronger gun regulation as part of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition aimed at cracking down on illegal guns. The coalition recently aired a commercial featuring Roxanna Green, the mother of one of those killed in the 2011 Tucson shootings, urging people to sign a petition on www.DemandAPlan.org

Below is a look at how other state and local leaders are taking action in the national gun debate. But we wanted to broaden the conversation. Nearly a month after the horrific Newtown shootings, many people, regardless of their politics, are trying to figure out what they can each do to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

We'd like you to join our discussion and tell us what do you think we, as individuals, can do to help curb gun violence?

We are not so interested in a discussion of the merits of the Second Amendment, but more what we as non-politicians and as a community should do to control gun violence.

Here are some ideas from The Atlantic Wire to get the discussion started:

  • Closing loopholes that allow people to buy guns at gun shows without a background check
  • Creating a national database of people who are banned from purchasing firearms, such as convicted felons and the mentally ill
  • National registration of every handgun and/or a database to track all weapon sales

Politicians Share Ideas to Control Gun Violence 

Arizona

In an USA Today op-ed piece, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, a former astronaut, discussed a campaign the couple is launching with the aim of curbing gun violence. Americans for Responsible Solutions aims to raise funds to “balance the influence of the gun lobby,” and start conversations about gun violence prevention. “Achieving reforms to reduce gun violence and prevent mass shootings will mean matching gun lobbyists in their reach and resources,” Giffords and Kelly wrote in the USA Today article. The couple launched the campaign Tuesday on the two-year anniversary of the Tucson shooting that killed six people and left Giffords injured. 

Connecticut

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal announced plans to introduce federal legislation requiring instant background checks for purchasers of ammunition Tuesday. "Right now, ammunition is the black hole in gun violence prevention because anybody can go into a store and buy any amount of ammunition with no questions asked and that person may be a felon, a fugitive, or mentally ill or a domestic violence abuser," Blumenthal, was quoted saying on NewYork.CBSLocal.com.

Illinois

Attorney General Lisa Madigan asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to review a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on concealed carry in an effort to salvage the only law in the nation that makes the practice illegal, Huffington Post reported.

New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to propose one of the country’s most restrictive bans on assault weapons, The Wall Street Journal reported. Describing existing laws in New York as having “more holes than Swiss cheese,” Cuomo is pushing for New York to become the first state to enact major new gun laws in the wake of the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., The New York Times reported.

For a detailed look at how some state and local leaders are taking action in the national gun debate, read Tucson Shooting Anniversary Honored As Gun Debate Swells on Huffingtonpost.com.

RonnieTheLimoDriver January 09, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Again, I don't really think I get the point of this discussion. So you are not interested in a discussion of the merits of the 2nd Amendment, but are interested in topics, such as registration, that infringe it? If we really want to do something about gun violence, lets focus on the issues that deal with street crime in disadvantaged areas of our urban centers. That is where the majority of firearm violence is occurring, and that is where weapons are being purchased and distrubuted illegally. Further restrictions for law abiding citizens are not the answer. While we are talking about fighting gun violence, maybe we should keep doing what we have been doing. Before anybody jumps down my throat, FBI crime statistics indicate violent crime, and especially murder, has continued to decreased every year for the past 5. And compared to 20 yrs ago, we are at less than half the same rate. During the same time period we have seen concealed carry in 49 of our states. Something tells me legal guns are not the problem. If you are really interested in what we can do as individuals, be better parents. Understand what your kids are up to, and if you own firearms, make sure they are secure.
Jack Straw January 09, 2013 at 08:28 PM
From Laure Dann in 1988 to Adam Lanza 2012 there is one big common thread, psychiatric drugs. Over 90% of the mass shootings have a direct correlation to some form of psychiatric medication. Before mass hysteria leads to years of political fighting, why not look at all the possibilities. A normal kid could be sitting on a mountain of guns and would never hurt another creature.
Jack Straw January 09, 2013 at 08:30 PM
Fact: Between 2004 and 2011, there have been over 11,000 reports to the U.S. FDA’s MedWatch system of psychiatric drug side effects related to violence. These include 300 cases of homicide, nearly 3,000 cases of mania and over 7,000 cases of aggression. Note: By the FDA’s own admission, only 1-10% of side effects are ever reported to the FDA.
Dan January 10, 2013 at 03:36 AM
If the American People want less assault and hand guns, they will stop buying them and thus kill the market. Without law abiding citizens buying assault and hand guns, that the federal government wants to regulate, the market would not exists. If we really believe in the a market economy, then the cause for gun violence in our streets, homes, and schools is our neighbors who turn over their hard earned dollars to companies that manufacture weapons. There are not enough criminals in the United States to justify gun manufacturing on the scale at which it is occurring (Around 5.5M in 2010).
RB January 10, 2013 at 03:50 AM
100,000 guns have been recovered from drug cartels in Mexico. They were bought in the US and don't whine about the blown ATF operation. Hunters can't possibly buy as many assault rifles as are sold, armour piercing ammo kills cops and Deer don't wear Kevlar. The stock piling by the "unregulated" militia of survivalists is responsible for many of these gun sales. Many of these guns make it onto the hands of criminals through theft or the gun show loophole. 5.5 Million gun sales is not a case for gun control, it's a perfect case for more gun control.
McCloud January 10, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Gun violence starts with the criminal, who usually is convicted and has a record of using a gun for bad reasons. Gun control legislation is like an attempt to rid the world of cockroaches or mosquitoes, it has shown to be ineffective over and over again. Imposing a surplus of years on top of sentences for convicted crimes easily solves the gun problem, without writing legislation and crossing fingers hoping it will work or taking guns away from just the law abiding. Why are people not worked up over thousands of dangerous criminals who use guns and walk freely out of jail?
Carl Castrogiovanni January 10, 2013 at 02:55 PM
That is a truly astounding non-sequitor! You assert that crime is caused by law abiding citizens purchasing firearms? Crime is caused by the production of firearms? The mere existence of firearms causes people to have criminal intent? Seriously? You know nothing about logical cause-and-effect let alone free markets... Get rid of guns and you still have a crime problem. Get rid of criminals, and you won't have to worry about guns...
Carl Castrogiovanni January 10, 2013 at 02:58 PM
"Hunters can't possibly buy as many assault rifles as are sold..." How would you know? "Many of these guns make it onto the hands of criminals through theft or the gun show loophole" How many? How would you know? Got any actual facts to back up your claims?
KC January 10, 2013 at 04:41 PM
We constantly read about "career criminal" in the Chicago Tribune. The killer who killed Officer Soderberg in Chicago last year had 15 or 16 previous arrests. My question is why our judicial system is putting the bad guys back on the street time after time after time? We can add 1000 police, but if our elected judges put those the police catch back on the street, nothing will be accomplished. I wish one of the Patch readers, who is familiar with why our revolving door justice system is what it is would respond to this question.
Moe @ the Buck January 10, 2013 at 04:58 PM
KC Watch what you wish for on the patch. Usually, everyone comes up with statistics, numbers, facts, opinions, and arguments. Then all they do is blame everything on Obama. Although, it is a little weird how gun violence has only been around for five years. Uh oh, their getting to me as well.
Jim January 10, 2013 at 07:38 PM
One thing for sure. Violence is not abated when the mental fringe and criminals read about Obama's friend, Bill Ayers, saying that hye would bomb again and Karen Lewis saying that maybe it is time to behead the wealthy. And when they see elected officials with armed guards, and the media glorifying violence. I would suggest that gun ownwers are not going to give up their guns regardless of what the government does. If you want to change the violence for the better, the culture will have to change and the pols don't have the cajones to lead on that. look around at the jerks running things and then look at the fact that most people are not violent. Passing laws to control the majority who are not the problem will not solve the problem.
Jack Straw January 10, 2013 at 08:33 PM
Very well put Jim, I am a little afraid old Moe’s been drinking the Karen May kiddie cocktails to long.
Moe @ the Buck January 10, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Does Karen May like guns? Just wondering.
RB January 11, 2013 at 12:07 AM
If people don't want assault weapons on the street, don't want high capacity clips on the street and think ownership of guns should be limited to people who are not mentally ill or have criminal records then they are presumed to not like guns. Gabby Giffords and her husband both own guns. They believe in the second ammendment. They also think assault weapons, and high capacity clips should be banned and that people should register and be checked out. They have established a PAC to raise money for this cause. So, they like guns and your presumption that someone does not if they want to fight gun violence by controlling access to guns is wrong.
McCloud January 11, 2013 at 12:25 AM
Is that sort of like a drug user who doesn't want drugs on the street, or limited to people who are not mentally ill or have criminal records then they are presumed to not like drugs?
Jack Straw January 11, 2013 at 04:52 PM
Does Karen like guns! hell you should see the old gal when she gets jacked up on southern comfort and Coca-Cola. She grabs the old 12 gauge slug gun heads down the ravines and blasts some deer’s. Great fun I must say.
Moe @ the Buck January 11, 2013 at 10:44 PM
I always thought she'd be a 20 gauge kinda girl. Your old,HP. Remember the days you could actually do that? Along the train tracks. Could you imagine how much trouble you'd get in for a loaded shotgun that close to the tracks.
Jack Straw January 12, 2013 at 01:05 AM
I do remember very well, my grandfather, father and me would hunt pheasants on the tracks from old Deerfield rd. south to clavy. And in Lake Forest from deerpath to Rockland rd. Another great hunting area was the old farm on park ave and ridge. We would also run rabbit trap lines behind Walters’s field.
millie January 12, 2013 at 03:41 AM
Need to clean that old girl
Moe @ the Buck January 12, 2013 at 07:19 AM
That's the stories I love to here. Back when things were more simple, and guns were more respected.
RonnieTheLimoDriver January 12, 2013 at 02:12 PM
I was not around, but don't forget, even HP Highschool used to have a Rifle Range. The only school shooting back then were on targets.
Moe @ the Buck January 12, 2013 at 05:18 PM
Old HP, It's funny what you say about Walters field and running trap lines. We used to do the same even until I was in highschool in the late 80's. Those woods and that drainage ditch were our stomping grounds. In fact, we would get off of school and go bow fishing for carp until dark almost everyday to improve our archery. Weapons were just a part of our lives. Then again, they weren't hidden from us and for some reason, we didnt have the urge to point them at each other, or anyone else. Oh, I know why, cause that's how we were brought up, and the only video games we had was asteroids and pac man.
Jack Straw January 12, 2013 at 08:02 PM
The old timers were all about gun safety and respect, for the first 2 years of hunting they would have me carry my old Stevens bolt action 410 unloaded. My grandfather said he wanted me to learn proper ways to handle a gun. But to this day I think they just wanted me to flush birds on their left flank.
Dan Cox January 24, 2013 at 09:30 PM
"Gun Violence" You simply cannot fight, what is not real. Gun Violence is no more real, than "Blunt Object Violence". This phrase, is the creation of UIC Professors, who have been working with Anti-Gun Politicians in Chicago, for over 50 years to create a negative image through propaganda style media coverage. Think about it... There was a "SHOOTING, by a "SHOOTER and somebody was "SHOT" by a "GUNMAN". Fifty years ago, the headline would have said... Man killed by Robber! Then you would have been told that John Doe was killed by man police arrested named joe yokel. Today, it is about putting negativity in your mind about guns, its just a big mindgame. I.E. I am an active shooter, I shoot my semi automatic handgun over 500 times, using high capacity magazines, that hold over 30 rounds. I do it legally at the Bristol Shooting Range in Wisconsin and nobody or anything gets hurt. Now an active shooter that is shooting 500 rounds on T.V. News is really a "KILLER". Do you see how they take one thing and make it into another? Let me ask you, how is that Cease-Fire Group doing in Chicago? We paid the UIC, 1 Million Dollars, to get the highesty Murder Rate in 5 years. 25% Solved Murder Rate is the worst in over 20 years... something is not working!
Dan Cox January 24, 2013 at 11:57 PM
GANG VIOLENCE, REPEAT OFFENDER VIOLENCE, this is what Aurora, Illinois Police focused on in 2012. Aurora, Illinois the second largest city in Illinois, had ZERO MURDERS in 2012. By comparrisson, Chicago, Illinois has focused on Gun-Control and had 506 Murders in 2012. Hmmm... Do you see, what works?

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