David Scott on Gun Control
Democratic Representative (GA-13)
Make America the “Safest Big Country” in the World
After climbing relentlessly for three decades, crime rates started to fall in the 1990s. Nonetheless, the public remains deeply concerned about the prevalence of gun violence, especially among juveniles, and Americans still avoid public spaces like downtown retail areas, parks, and even sports facilities.
We need to keep policing “smart” and community-friendly, prohibiting unjust and counterproductive tactics such as racial profiling; focus on preventing as well as punishing crime; pay attention to what happens to inmates and their families after sentencing; use mandatory testing and treatment to break the cycle of drugs and crime; and enforce and strengthen laws against unsafe or illegal guns. Moreover, we need a renewed commitment to equal justice for all, and we must reject a false choice between justice and safety.
Technology can help in many areas: giving police more information on criminal suspects so they do not rely on slipshod, random stop-and-search methods; allowing lower-cost supervision of people on probation or parole; and making it possible to disable and/or trace guns used by unauthorized persons.
Above all, we need to remember that public safety is the ultimate goal of crime policy. Until Americans feel safe enough to walk their neighborhood streets, enjoy public spaces, and send their children to school without fear of violence, we have not achieved public safety.
Proponent's argument for bill:Rep. KELLY (D-IL): As a Nation, we shudder at tragedies like the Newtown shootings. Yet sadly, every day, equally devastating acts of gun violence occur in urban America, often without the same media coverage. Since Newtown, over 6,000 Americans have lost their lives to gun violence. Still, Congress has yet to act on commonsense gun reforms that would save lives.
Opponent's argument against bill:(National Rifle Association editorial in USN&WR): "Stand your ground" or "no duty to retreat" laws recognize that a person who is attacked in any place where that person has a right to be, may use defensive force without first being required to retreat. This is important, because determining whether a safe retreat is available may require a split-second calculation that could end up being a losing gamble for the innocent person who is under attack. Criminals don't always back off when their victims retreat. Despite the Obama administration's assertion that "stand your ground" laws are a new concept in self-defense, they are in fact founded in common sense, natural law, and are well enshrined in American jurisprudence.
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