Local gun control
The fatal shootings of 30 students and two professors at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University last month has reignited the debate on gun control. The Washington-based U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) President and Trenton, N.J., Mayor Douglas Palmer is urging the federal government to work with mayors and police chiefs to tighten gun laws. American City & County asked the readers of a special edition e-mail newsletter if they think city and county governments should do more to control the sale of guns in their jurisdictions, and, if so, what should they do? Below are some of the responses.
“Any law written locally and at the state level would need to be thoroughly researched in legal case history and constitutional law. This is a constitutional issue, not a local or state issue. Any attempts at infringing legal gun owners’ rights must be framed in a constitutional light. Any armed citizen could have stopped the mass murders at VT.”
— Ron Neal, structures manager, Omaha, Neb.
“[The government] should promote honest people to have concealed carry permits and encourage gun rights.”
— Larry Goldman, building official/fire marshal, Sanford, Fla.
“Since Florida established [the] ‘right to carry’ [law], crime has gone down. So-called gun-free zones end up being more dangerous as the criminal knows it is an area where they won’t encounter an armed, law-abiding citizen.”
— Jim Naugle, mayor, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“I feel that local, state and federal governments should do more to control the selling of guns. People that want the U.S. to permanently stay in a ‘wild, wild West’ state [of mind] are endangering all of us with that philosophy.”
— Mary Robinson, director, Morris University Center, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, Ill.
“If a waiting period and background check had been in place, Cho Seung Hui would not have been able to purchase a firearm. I have never understood why law-abiding Americans would care if they have to wait a few days [to buy a gun]. That would have prevented the [shootings].”
— Rush Clinkscales, engineer, Edmond, Okla.