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DeStefano: Think Big In Tackling Gun Carnage

by Paul Bass | Jan 9, 2013 2:44 pm

(3) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: State

In the wake of the Newtown massacre, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano declared Wednesday, America has a chance to tackle its epidemic of gun violence—if it moves beyond single mini-solutions.

He issued a call for a comprehensive approach that looks at three very different kinds of “carnage” plaguing the country: gangbangers shooting each other in cities; shooters involved in street robberies or domestic violence; and mass shootings like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School and a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.

Each kind of carnage involves different kinds of weapon and different kinds of people, DeStefano noted. And they require different kinds of solutions.

“The nation has a chance” right now to make meaningful inroads into the broader problem of gun violence thanks to the outpouring of grief and calls for change in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, DeStefano said. Various parties have called for banning the sale of assault rifles, or limiting sales of ammunition, or boosting access to psychological care for troubled kids. (Click on the play arrow to the above video to watch highlights.)

DeStefano, who has called for a ban on sales of assault weapons and large-clip ammunition, pleaded Wednesday for the public and policymakers to consider the lives of the victims of all three kinds of gun carnage, and to think beyond any one solution.

“It’s not about assault rifles only,” the mayor argued. “Or about mental health only. Or about walking beats only.”

DeStefano made his remarks during a City Hall press conference on New Haven’s success this past year at beginning to reduce the number of shootings and homicides in town in part through increased neighborhood walking patrol sand a federal-state-city crackdown on gang violence.

He also timed the message with the start of the new session of Connecticut’s General Assembly. Gun-control and mental-health proposals are expected to dominate debate during this session.

Later Wednesday he participated in a conference call with Vice-President Joe Biden, who’s overseeing the Obama administration’s strategy on pushing gun-violence-related legislation. He’ll also be participating in talks about the issue with the National League of Cities (NLC) and U.S. Conference of Mayors at conferences in Washington, D.C.

Ever since the Dec. 14 tragedy in Newtown, DeStefano has emerged as a national voice in the debate over how to respond, appearing on National Public Radio, for instance, and issuing the NLCs’ response to an NRA press conference calling for stationing armed guards in all schools. (DeStefano wasn’t impressed with the NRA’s stance.)

“Any solution to gun violence needs to acknowledge there really are three kinds of gun violence we experience in America,” DeStefano said at Wednesday’s press conference. “By far the most common is what we see in New Haven, Hartford and Bridgeport” involving “overwhelmingly young black men” settling gang and drug disputes with “small handguns, not rifles.

“The second results from armed robberies, domestic violence, street disputes.

“Finally there’s Newtown and Colorado and Wisconsin and Minnesota.

“All are tragedies. They all require our attention. Each will require a different kind of intervention if we’re truly interested in ending carnage.”

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posted by: anonymous on January 9, 2013  3:02pm

The problem is the very high unemployment rate, which is caused by a severe lack of investment in City neighborhoods - a problem exacerbated by DeStefano’s constant widening of roads into highways that destroy neighborhoods. 

There’s plenty of money to go around, but most of it goes to people who already have enough of it.  Maybe the NHI can analyze where most of the money going to those $1.5 billion in new school construction ended up (hint: Guilford).  How about analyzing how many employees being hired for key positions actually live in New Haven.

City Hall’s band-aid programs to train or employ a couple dozen middle-aged residents, who may not even live in the most-impacted neighborhoods and generally are not young black men just out of high school, clearly have not helped, as homicide continues to be high. (see http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/50_murder_drop_just_a_beginning/ - as noted, these “successes” are not really a “success” at all).

We need a new approach, and we needed it ten years ago.  Since then, hundreds have died.

posted by: LESGTINCT on January 9, 2013  3:40pm

Distefano has already proven to us he knows NOTHING about firearms. The Hwang case is the perfect example, charges dismissed. Now he is pushing his liberal anti-gun agenda (shamefully the day of the Newtown massacre)and trying to punish law abiding citizens that are gun owners. Criminals don’t care about gun laws. Lanza stole the guns he used, he possessed them illegally, and brought them to a school illegally. The same amount of damage could have been done with a pistol or shotgun,or if he had a 10 round magazine in his rifle. It’s called reloading which can be accomplished in less than 5 seconds or transitioning to another firearms which can be done in even less time. Please educate yourself Distefano and stop being an ignorant politician.

posted by: madereinerue on January 11, 2013  1:47am

“Any solution to gun violence needs to acknowledge there really are three kinds of gun violence we experience in America,” DeStefano said…”

But actually, the Mayor omitted a 4th kind, which I gather ranks 1st statistically - the Big Dog on the block: SUICIDE by Gun. I’ve recently read (& please correct me if wrong) that it accounts for as many as 2/3 of annual deaths by Bullet.

I’m afraid that No iteration of gun “control” can address that,

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