Mayor’s gun violence rhetoric falls short

Last week, Mayor Sly James sat behind his mahogany bomber on the 29th floor of City Hall and delivered yet another of his famous lectures berating the taxpaying citizens for the recent uptick in gun related crimes. Mayor James railed against the recent spate of shootings, then went on to express frustration about not having the tools to fix the situation.

With top PoPo brass at his side, apparently for street cred, the Mayor said he was powerless to stop the violence; then invited Police Chief Rick Smith to jump on the gun-grabbing bandwagon, which metaphorically speaking, was already hurtling downhill at a high rate of speed. To his credit, Chief Smith spoke more to neighbors being engaged in their communities and forming active block watches to prevent crime than he did to the Mayor’s ranting against legal gun owners.

While the Mayor made salient points about utilizing the TIPS Hotline, neighborhood engagement and active block watch programs being keys to increasing safety in neighborhoods, he continues to ignore the real root of the gun violence problem and hold the proper people responsible for the issue. Who would those proper people be in this case? The very people responsible for the ongoing ignorance of invoking federal sentencing guidelines against dangerous felons caught carrying out a crime with a gun they shouldn’t have in the first place.

We covered this back in April of 2017 following an incident where the House of News was shot up by a known felon in possession of a firearm. That individual even confessed that he carried out the crime and was prepared for Prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker and her team of legal eagles to send him upriver for the requisite five-year minimum. As we noted then, that individual didn’t do a day of jail time for that crime and walks the streets today a free man. In that editorial, the News-dog cited three specific federal statutes currently on the books that dictate sentencing when a known felon in possession of a weapon commits a crime using said weapon.

Maybe instead of trying to subvert state and federal law and attempting to enact what he calls “common sense” gun legislation at the local level, Mayor James can have a sit-down with the county prosecutor and her staff to make some inquiries as to why her office continually refuses to enforce federal statutes and sentencing minimums when gun crimes are committed by people forbidden to have guns!

If safer streets are the end game here, lets start enforcing the laws – federal statutes, no less -already on the books, instead of proposing what amounts to feel-good legislation designed to subvert the second amendment of the constitution.

Safer neighborhoods? We’re there, Mr. Mayor. Active block watches and engaged neighborhoods? We’re there, too. Killing the “snitches get stitches” mindset? Yep, there too. Background checks on gun purchases? Yep, already in place at the federal level. Firearms training? Agree there too, just not mandated. Subverting the second amendment in order to invoke more local gun control? Nope. Sorry. When seconds count, a good cop is minutes away. No thanks, Mr. Mayor, we’ll keep ours.

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