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State lawmakers should help Cleveland stem gun violence: Mark Naymik

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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-22-11 08:23 AM
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State lawmakers should help Cleveland stem gun violence: Mark Naymik
Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial column
In the past few years, police intent on fighting gun violence have focused on violence-prone neighborhoods. They respond to gun shots with their own, and sometimes with their bodies. They confiscate thousands of guns a year. They buy back hundreds more, as they did last week, removing from the street weapons that otherwise might have ended up in the hands of teenagers with grudges or the need for street cred.
Separately, the city's Community Relations Department has quietly deployed street outreach workers, people who have some credibility in Cleveland's tough neighborhoods, and they try to connect with teens mixed-up in gun violence. Their goal is to get ahead of the bullets.
Once, the city had laws that held adults accountable if their kids got access to their firearms, prohibited the sale and possession of assault weapons and required handgun registration.

State lawmakers with hearty support from rural legislators (morons) stripped Cleveland of these gun powers with a law prohibiting any city from regulating guns. The city went to court to keep these laws. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that state law trumped home rule, and the city gun laws dissolved.

Mayor Frank Jackson asked local legislators to push a bill that would make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to possess a firearm, with exemptions for hunting, sport, law enforcement and military use. The proposal was dead on arrival in Columbus.

It's time for Columbus to help provide a solution. Lawmakers should at least sit down to talk with mayors like Jackson, to hear their frustration, to go over each of the shootings we've seen of late. They should hear from the mothers of the dead. It might help them brainstorm, and surely they won't run afoul of the gun lobby.
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