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Letter: Gun Restrictions Will Increase Violent Crime

Teaneck Council's support of gun control measure draws criticism

The following is a letter to the editor submitted by Teaneck resident Josh Levy: 

Shame on the Teaneck council. On Feb. 5, without any fact-finding, without any solicitation of opposing views, without a single additional meeting, council members voted 5-0 to endorse all the state legislature’s anti-gun bills.

Law-abiding NJ citizens are already disarmed outside their homes, but these bills would disarm them inside their homes. To take just two examples, the proposed five-round magazine limit would ban nearly all handguns; and the proposed ten-round limit would make it difficult to defend one’s family against home invaders.

Such radical restrictions will only empower criminals and increase violent crime. They will leave everyone defenceless, including women facing rapists or abusive boyfriends, and schoolchildren facing mass shooters.

Armed resistance stops crime. An assistant principal used a gun to halt a shooting in his Mississippi high school before the attacker could kill more than two students.  By contrast, in the gun-free, i.e., defenceless, zone of the Connecticut elementary school, the toll was 26 dead, 1 wounded. In the defenceless zone of the Colorado movie theatre, the toll was 12 dead, 58 wounded. In the defenceless zone of Virginia Tech, 32 died and 17 were wounded. Today’s gun-free zones are tomorrow’s killing fields.

The Teaneck council members clearly seek to make the entire state a defenceless zone, no matter what the consequences. They are destroying a fundamental freedom and endangering everyone’s family. Because of their folly, more children will die, more women will be violated, and more fathers will not return home. If the state bills pass, the counci lmembers should be held liable for rendering Teaneck crime victims helpless. Shame on them.

Josh Levy

David Sudranski

David Fisher

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Teanecker February 25, 2013 at 02:35 AM
There have been several places that have loosened gun control laws (Ohio even went as far as allowing conceal carry by hundreds of thousands of Individuals in 2004). In the case of Ohio, some said it would cause chaos, with every argument ending in a gunfight. Others said it would decrease crime for the same reasons posted above (that criminals wouldn't want to commit crimes if they didn't know who was packing heat). The crime rate stayed the same after the laws changed. They even lowered along with the rest of the Country. In short, nothing happened, good or bad. As for the proposed regulations, there's a sense that it penalizes law abiding gun owners with even more regulation, while doing little to create a realistic approach to combat gun violence. After reviewing the current situation, it's hard to find fault with that proposition. The new laws will create criminals out of current law abiding gun owners. Millions of magazines in NJ hold up to the current limit of bullets (15). Under the new laws, the limit would go to 10 bullets per magazine. There does not seem to be any logical basis to this change. Even Mother Jones magazine (hardly an NRA supporter) finds that the magazine capacity issue will do very little to stem the violence posed by people using guns inappropriately.
Teanecker February 25, 2013 at 02:36 AM
There's good reason for gun owners to be paranoid. In the late 80's, an individual names Joseph Pelleteri (source: http://www.constitution.org/2ll/bardwell/state_v_pelleteri.txt) won a rife in a police auction. Years later, when the rifle was found in a safe, unloaded and apparently never fired with the tags still attached, he was nevertheless arrested, tried and CONVICTED for owning an assault weapon. This is how laws are prosecuted in NJ. They scare people that try to navigate a complicated framework. Recently, Brian Aitken had his sentence commuted by the Governor after he was convicted of having a 17 round magazine while moving from Colorado to NJ. They were legal in Colorado. By no means am I saying the people should have carte blanche to ignore NJ gun laws. But, it's unfortunate that people like Aitken and Pelleteri, that are clearly not the ones that are "threats" to the public, are being prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We CAN and we SHOULD be finding a way to make better laws that stand a chance of reducing violence while either not affecting current owners - or - making it easier on current law abiding gun owners.
Teanecker February 25, 2013 at 02:38 AM
For better or worse, there's only one side getting "controlled" in the gun control debate. The place to start, in my opinion, is by the gun control crowd getting together with the gun owners and truly understanding the current maze of laws and regulations that they have to put up with. As one example, there's a push to eliminate private sales that aren't subject to background (NICS) checks. I agree that there should be universal background checks. But are you aware that the current instant background checks are performed by fax and phone? Are you aware that many times, the system is overloaded and the checks have to wait for another day? Why not have an online system that people can access easily and streamline the process? As for the rest of this thread, may I suggest you use you ask, does the new law reasonably reduce gun violence - instead of restricting gun ownership in general as some hopeful way of accomplishing the task? If we can't focus on the problem, we have no chance at solving it.
Teanecker February 25, 2013 at 02:41 AM
Teaneck-Resident, Geoffrey Canada writes in his book (Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun), that a firearm isn't a defensive weapon or an instrument of murder. In Canada's opinion, it is a disruptor of natural order. To illustrate - when a large person and a small person get into an argument, it's likely to end with the smaller running away rather than being beaten to a pulp. When nature sets the odds against you, it doesn't pay to fight. That ceases to be the case when a gun is involved. The question of "who will win" goes from being a foregone conclusion to an "unknown". That's why, in Canada's opinion, adding firearms to the equation doesn't increase OR decrease the amount of violent crime. I tend to agree with this view. It's also based on evidence. Locales that have loosened gun laws and allowed conceal carry (like Ohio) saw very little reduction (as well as no increase) in the amount of violent crime.
Teanecker February 25, 2013 at 03:00 AM
David, I would suggest the book "Living with guns : a liberal's case for the Second Amendment" You may also want to read through this paper, which highlights many of the historical features and paths that modern gun laws have taken: http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlg/vol312/237-276.pdf

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