Last month, 15 mayors from large cities met in New York and pledged to step up efforts to fight illegal guns. The mayors signed a “statement of principles” that included a call for tougher punishments for gun possession and prosecuting gun dealers who sell to criminals, according to The New York Times.
Also last month, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney signed a bill that requires all residents to obtain health insurance by July 1, 2007. People who can afford coverage but do not buy it will be penalized on their state income taxes, and businesses with more than 10 employees will be fined if they do not provide insurance.
Subscribers to American City & County’s e-mail newsletter responded to the stories with the following comments.
“We need judges who throw the book at everyone who commits a crime involving a gun. Making tougher gun laws doesn’t change gun-toting criminals but restricts law-abiding citizens from having guns allowed by the Constitution. Why is it rural mayors don’t have this big of a problem?”
— Patrick Feltman, Overland Park, Kan.
“One simple comment: Why do we not enforce the laws already on the books that address gun violence? It is just plain stupid to make more laws that the courts don’t enforce.”
— George Yarns, Fire Chief (Ret.), Clarks Summit, Pa.
“The Massachusetts ‘mandate’ and penalty will most likely have the most negative impact on the small and fledgling employers in the state and still not resolve the classic debacle of supply and demand in terms of healthcare offerings by insurers and the competitive status of small employers in the local, regional, state and national economies. If anything, this problem should be addressed at the national level … If we can cure polio, wipe out measles, pursue a fight to better deal with breast cancer, etc., the United States of America can cure what ails it healthcare-wise and not leave individual states out on their own.”
— Jay Gsell, Manager, Genesee County, N.Y.