The goal is to reduce violence not take away guns
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In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called movingly for Congress to act on several gun control measures, including a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and for universal background checks. In my opinion, there are two things we can do that would be more effective in the near future in reducing gun violence than banning the sale of any type of gun.
First, we do need universal background checks. We need to know about and be able to control the movement of guns in our society, especially the millions already on our streets.
Second, we need to require the reporting of lost and stolen guns. According to city Councilman Bill Peduto's mayoral campaign website, "Most guns used to commit crimes were purchased legally and were lost or stolen, eventually ending up in the hands of a criminal." How does someone "lose" a gun? And why wouldn't a responsible owner report a stolen gun immediately? The answer, of course, is that they are not lost or stolen; they are being deliberately sold to people who could not buy a gun legally.
Pittsburgh actually has such a law, passed in 2010, but the mayor did not sign it and refuses to implement it. He or his staff would need to explain why, although a statewide law would make that point moot.
In all sincerity, the goal is not to take away anyone's guns. The goal is to reduce all gun violence: mass shootings as well as the daily carnage on our streets.
First Published February 23, 2013 12:00 am