Reducing Gun Violence Without Infringing on Gun Rights

Could it be…a Democrat who doesn’t believe ending gun violence has to infringe on the Second Amendment right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms?

Jumaane Williams, a New York City councilman and deputy leader of the city’s Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, wrote that the group “worked with many others to find ways to help end this pandemic by using a multilayered approach, which includes the collaboration of city agencies, the administration and violence-interrupter groups. Without an equal push to create policy changes, law enforcement adjustments and community change (from addressing mental health to employment), the fight against gun violence will be a lost battle.”

That is the approach elected officials should take to curb gun violence, not make it harder for responsible people to acquire firearms. The task force’s recommendations seem to focus on dealing with the segment of the population that commits over half the violent crimes in the country: young black males (“at risk” is code). From a press release:

CureViolence focuses on key geographic areas with high levels of shootings. Community staff reaches out to those most likely to be at-risk of, or engaged in violence, to help stop shootings before they happen and de-escalate incidents or retaliatory shootings.

The Task Force also recommended that additional support services be connected with the cure violence programs to provide needed supports for the at risk youth, their families, and the community at large in these pilot areas, including community and professional mental health services, school based conflict mediation services, job training and placement services, and legal services. This new model is currently underway in five neighborhoods with the support from the City Council, which provided over $4 million dollars to fund the initiative.

There will always be people who abuse constitutional rights. It’s reasonable for lawmakers and concerned citizens to want to do something to reduce gun violence; however, you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, as people used to say. Find the abusers, the law-breakers. Get to the root of the problem, and if you can, try to fix it. But leave the Second Amendment alone.

It’s possible the task force seeks to reduce access to guns in general, but on the surface, it’s a targeted approach.

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