BY CHRISTINE CARRIE FIEN
I’m seriously depressed.
I’ve been doing some reading on urban violence — specifically, where these kids are getting their guns.
The answer is terrifying and oppressive: everywhere.
The primary pipeline, according to the stuff I’ve read, is friends and family. Also: through burglaries, illegal sales at gun shows, corrupt gun dealers, people selling guns on the street, and “straw man” purchases — where someone buys a gun legally but then gives it to someone else. Resourceful hoodlums can even make their own guns.
A Rochester City Council member recently suggested starting a gun amnesty program. But Police Chief Jim Sheppard says the guns people turn in usually aren’t the ones causing the trouble. Check out this quote from an old New York Times story:
“The only time you’re going to turn in your gun is when you’ve already taken care of your business with it. Then you just go out to the corner and get youself [sic] another one.”
That’s from a gang member back in 1992, although it seems little has changed.
The Rochester Police Department has taken 550 illegal guns off the street so far this year, Sheppard says. That’s up from 460 at this time last year.
Think about that number: 550. That’s enough to arm every single member of my graduating class, with more than 100 guns left over.
What can we do?