Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ellen S. Alberding on Youth Violence

The Chicago Tribune published an article by Ellen S. Alberding, President of the Joyce Foundation. The title: "When children with illegal firearms rule."

Ms. Alberding begins by recalling the recent murder of Derrion Albert, which, because it happened to be caught on video, created an international sensation. One result was that President Obama sent Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder to Chicago this week to talk with students and school officials.


We welcome the opportunity to talk about a comprehensive strategy to combat youth violence. But let's remember that the beating death of Derrion is in some ways unusual.

Every week young people here and in other cities are slain. Some are beaten like Derrion but in the great majority of cases the weapon of choice is a gun. In the last two years, more than 500 Chicago Public School students have been shot.

From January through August, 152 young people have been murdered in Chicago and 80 percent were killed by guns. Any effort to reduce violence has to recognize that easy access to firearms is inextricably linked to violence involving youth.

How is it possible that pro-gun folks continue to deny that "easy access to firearms is inextricably linked to violence?" Why is it not possible for them to admit that firearm availability is a major factor, not the only factor, granted, but a major factor in violence? I would have more respect for people who say although gun availability is a problem, too bad, we have our 2nd Amendment rights. I'd have more respect if they said, I realize gun availability is bad news, but it's the price we must pay so the rest of us can enjoy our guns. But when they argue that gun availability is not a factor or not a significant factor, I find it hard to believe they really think so.

What's the solution then? Here it is according to Ellen S. Alberding.


We have to insist that anyone who buys a gun must pass a background check, so we can prevent criminals, minors and those with mental illness from getting their hands on deadly weapons.

We should increase the regulation and oversight of licensed gun dealers and call on law enforcement to trace the flow of illegal handguns and assault weapons that end up in the hands of street gangs or drug dealers.

We should stop tying the hands of federal law enforcement agencies by forbidding them to require dealer inventory checks and forcing them to destroy background check records that could be used to investigate gun crimes.


What's your opinion? Are they pretty much the same suggestions other gun control folks talk about? Is there anything wrong with these ideas? Do you think Ms. Alberding has a hidden agenda? Is she really striving to incrementally take away your rights with the eventual plan of total bans and confiscation?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

20 comments:

  1. Waddya know--the president of the biggest funder of anti-gun tyranny in the U.S. wants to exploit a beating death as justification for more gun laws. At least Alberding is less contemptibly reprehensible than Thom Mannard, of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, who had the gall to say this:

    “Where there have been opportunities for the president to speak out about the issue of firearm violence, he has missed any number of opportunities,” said Thom Mannard, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.

    Doing so in the Albert case “provides the cover” to address youth violence without confronting the gun lobby, said Mannard, whose group’s board of directors included Duncan until he left for his current post.


    In other words, since the murder was not committed with a gun, he didn't consider it important enough to justify White House attention.

    That's disgusting.

    Perhaps what really bothered Mannard about the attention paid to this is that it proves that "gun availability" is not the issue. With no guns handy, the savagery of the gangbanger culture made do with fists, feet, and railroad ties--and an honors student is just as dead.

    Don't get me wrong--I'm also part of the "railroad tie lobby," and I will argue passionately that "railroad ties don't kill, people do," and that "when you outlaw railroad ties, only outlaws will have railroad ties," but aren't you concerned about railroad tie availability, Mikeb?

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  2. Wow, where to start.

    "When children with illegal firearms rule."

    Let's get one thing straight right here. It's total BS every time you see the phrase "illegal gun."

    "Mayors against illegal guns" is a perfect example.

    Stay with me MikeB.

    The guns are LEGAL. The illegality only comes into play by the possession by a prohibited person.

    Calling them illegal guns is a linguistic trap the antis have created so they can publically denounce all those who defend these falsely labled "illegal guns."

    Perhaps an analogy would help you.

    If someone is caught driving without a drivers license, we don't say that he was driving an illegal car. We say he was driving illegaly.

    Same for guns. The antis like to complain about "illegal guns" when the truth is that they are legal guns possesed by prohibited people.

    If you don't have the intellectual honesty to admit that, I feel sorry for you.

    "From January through August, 152 young people have been murdered in Chicago and 80 percent were killed by guns."

    Killed BY guns???

    I would have said killed by people WITH guns, but that's just me.

    "Why is it not possible for them to admit that firearm availability is a major factor"

    We have over 300 milion guns in America; that horse has left the barn.

    Without widespread confiscation, how do you propose we lessen availability.

    Close the gun show loop hole you say?

    Oregon did close the "loop hole" and guess what, MikeB. I can buy all the guns I want without a background check legally.

    How is that possible? Becuase the antis have made "gun show loop hole" such a catch phrase that our legislation ONLY APPLIES AT gun shows. I can still buy all the guns I want at flea markets, garage sales, through the classified ads, etc.

    In fact, I can still go to a gun show, contact a private seller and get his contact info and buy a gun from him anywhere in the state other than the gun show property.

    If you want background checks on ALL SALES, then stop calling it the "gun show Loop hole."

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  3. MikeB, I am sure you know that Chicago has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. It is virtually impossible for gun to be even obtained legally, forget carrying one legally.

    Your argument is that other states do not have the same draconian restrictions so guns are obtained elsewhere and smuggled in illegally to Chicago.

    If Virgina, Georgia, Ohio or any of the other states that have what you call "lax" gun laws, had a far greater (or even the same for that matter) gun crime rate, then you might have an argument.

    However, since that is not the case and the states that are far less restrictive have a much, much lower crime rate then you will never convince anyone that it is the presence of a gun that causes these crimes.

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  4. Perhaps an analogy would help you.

    If someone is caught driving without a drivers license, we don't say that he was driving an illegal car. We say he was driving illegaly.


    You must have forgotten, Kaveman, that Mikeb hates analogies that involve guns, and automatically dismisses them as being illegitimate (without bothering to offer an explanation as to what is faulty about the analogy).

    I can still buy all the guns I want at flea markets, garage sales, through the classified ads, etc.

    Remember one of the sillier anti-gun endeavors (and there's a lot of competition for that dubious "honor"): the effort to close the--get this--"newspaper loophole"? It seems as if every time I try to come up with some kind of parody to lampoon the forcible citizen disarmament lobby, I find that they have beaten me to it, and lampooned themselves--but they're apparently serious.

    If they ever get so depressed about the rising tide of pro-rights sentiment in the U.S., and give up their efforts, I'll kinda miss them--they provide better entertainment than a Tarantino movie.

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  5. kaveman and bowulf, Believe it or not, the reason I don't like analogies is because they usually don't work.

    But I like what you just pointed out with yours. We wouldn't say he was driving an illegal car. So we shouldn't say he was using an illegal gun, is that it? We shouldn't say "illegal firearms," that must be it. We should always specify, "guns which were used illegally." Alberding's title should have been "When children for whom it is illegal to have firearms have them anyway, rule."

    Your other example is "Mayors Against Illegal Guns," should be rendered, Mayors Against the Illegal Use of Guns."

    Well, I get your point and I don't dispute it. I do say however the more cumbersome rendering of some of these ideas makes them less preferable. As far as I can see, that's the only explanation, not that paranoid, self-persecuted idea you've come up with that it's some kind of a conspiracy to demonize guns.

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  6. MikeB,

    Why do you put the cart before the horse?

    Was Derrion Albert killed by someone using a firearm?

    Was he killed because someone in the crowd had a firearm?

    Or was he killed because the youths in that fight were violent?

    See, even without the firearm, the violence is the issue.

    Kids all over America have the same level of access to firearms as kids in Chicago do....often more access.

    Yet, there is less violence, less death in other places.

    Why?

    It isn't the firearm, it is the culture of violence as an acceptable means of resolving disputes that is the problem.

    Your focus on the firearm will prevent that culture from being addressed.

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  7. Thankyou for acknowledging my point with the car analogy.

    Words are very powerful; how we use them influence how people perceive what is being said.

    Those who are uninformed about a particular issue can be manipulated into taking a false stance.

    The Patriot Act is about patriotism, right?

    The Clean Air Act is about clean air, right?

    The Healthy Forests Act is about healthy forests, right?

    Politicians and the power hungry use this tactic extensively to frame the argument to their advantage by making anyone opposed to their stance look ridiculous.

    What???

    You're against clean air, healthy forests and patrriotism?

    Yup, and apple pie as well.

    Once you understand the concept, you will start to see it everywhere.

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  8. "How is it possible that pro-gun folks continue to deny that "easy access to firearms is inextricably linked to violence?" "

    Because it's not. There are many places with more guns than Chicago, and much less violence.

    As i've always said, it's the people, not the guns. You could take the entire south side of Chicago, transplant them to the moon where there isn't a single gun, and they'd just beat each other to death with moon rocks.

    Now the death rate might be a little lower due to the fact it's harder to beat someone to death than to shoot them, but don't think for a minute the violence will be curbed. It will just spread out over a greater amount of time.

    And that is the best gun control can ever achieve. It doesn't solve the problem. It only dilutes it to the point where we feel less guilty without actually doing anything to address the underlying problem.

    Gun control is a classic case of treating the symptoms instead of the disease.

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  9. Very nicely articulated, Aztec.

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  10. Handguns are all but banned in Chicago; legal "access to firearms" is quite difficult in IL for anyone, difficult-to-impossible for minors anywhere in the States, and the killing in question was committed with BAULKS OF WOOD.

    The murderous don't need guns to kill. Law-abiding people need them for self-defense.

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  11. Roberta, don't expect facts and logic to make a difference to the forcible citizen disarmament advocates--you'll just be setting yourself up for disappointment.

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  12. She calls for mandatory background checks for all firearm purchases. She's based in Chicago and should know that Illinois already requires a FOID card for all legal purchases of firearms or ammunition, even between private parties. In fact, it's a felony to possess firearms or ammunition in Illinois without a FOID, much less sell or purchase them.

    It takes several weeks to get a FOID card (the statute specifies that the card must be issued or denied within 30 days, but we were up to the 90-day mark a few months ago and it took some serious shifting of personnel at the state police to get the time down under 30 days--mine recently took about 25.) It also takes an exhaustive background check, and the FOID database is checked against mental health and criminal databases daily.

    None of this stops criminals because they simply don't bother with FOID cards and they don't go through background checks.

    She also recommends having law enforcement trace crime guns, which might have been a valid suggestion in 1925. Nowadays it's been standard procedure for a couple of generations, and it's not really the hot new thing anymore. I'm sure she would say she was talking about the Tiahrt Amendment, but that doesn't block trace data access to anyone who is actually engaged in a criminal investigation--it only blocks access by outside parties who have no legitimate reason to see the data, like Mayor Bloomberg.

    The "regulation and oversight of licensed gun dealers" would be hard to increase without a re-education camp and a lot of gray smocks and cheap shovels. They're already hounded by BATFE on a constant rotation over everything from the use of "Y" instead of "Yes" or "IL" instead of "Illinois," with simple paperwork errors being reclassified as "willful violations."

    I was not aware that FFL inventories are not checked. I bet a lot of FFL dealers would be surprised to learn that, too.

    In short, she's full of it and I suspect she knows it.

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  13. You know, this has been pointed out many times before to MikeB, and he's yet to address it.

    MikeB, how is it with so many states that DO have mandatory background checks that there is so much crime still, and how you wrap your head around that?

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  14. About Thom Mannard's remarks that Obama only got involved in the Chicago problem over a non-gun murder, beowulf concludes this:

    "In other words, since the murder was not committed with a gun, he didn't consider it important enough to justify White House attention."

    I don't agree with that at all. I think what Mannard meant was that Obama is so afraid of the NRA that he wouldn't dare make a fuss over the guns directly but strategically chose this incident instead.

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  15. Whatever the motivation behind Obama's decision to send two cabinet officials to address violence in the wake of the brutal savagery that killed 16-year-old honors student Derrion Albert, by whining about the decision, Mannard implies that other murders would have been more appropriate for that level of attention--more important, in other words.

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  16. FWM said, If Virgina, Georgia, Ohio or any of the other states that have what you call "lax" gun laws, had a far greater (or even the same for that matter) gun crime rate, then you might have an argument."

    I never said gun availability was the only factor. If I claimed that then what you said would make sense. My understanding is that gun availability is one of the most concrete factors in a very complex matrix that makes for gun violence. Chicago has that matrix in spades. I just read that 85% of Chicago school kids come from families below the poverty line.

    So, Chicago has strong gun control and bad gun crime. New Orleans has lax gun laws and bad gun crime. The theory is Chicago guns are coming in from outside, but New Orleans guns are locally bought.

    The big cities with less gun violence are the ones lacking the other factors, poverty, gangs, etc.

    The rule still applies, whatever problems you've got with violence, guns make them worse.

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  17. Roberta X, Thanks for coming by, I'm honored by your comment.

    I invite you to read what I just wrote to FatWhiteMan, it answers your comment too.

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  18. Says Mikeb:

    The rule still applies, whatever problems you've got with violence, guns make them worse.

    As do railroad ties.

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  19. MikeB,

    Let's examine your "logic" here.


    The rule still applies, whatever problems you've got with violence, guns make them worse.


    So, instead of addressing the problem of violence you want to address the use of firearms.

    Does that make the violence go away?

    Nope, not a bit. You haven't addressed the root cause so the violence continues.

    However, if you address the problem of the violence, the use of firearms decreases because there isn't as much violence.

    Why do you continue to focus on the tool instead of the cause?

    Your logic also fails in this:
    If the people in Chicago are poor and the guns have to come in from the outside, that would make them more expensive.

    The more expensive an item is the less there is, right?

    So, there should be more firearm related violence in cities and states with easy access then states with restricted access.

    but that isn't the case, is it?

    So, your efforts at gun control fail to address the cause of the violence and fail to prevent access to firearms.

    Why continue?

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  20. the president of the biggest funder of anti-gun tyranny in the U.S. wants to exploit a beating death as justification for more gun laws.

    Yup, just shows you that these bigots (like MikeB) will focus on GUNS even when guns had not one thing to do with the the violence and death.

    They'll do and say anything, no matter how despicable to advance their agenda.

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