Boston.com reports on the trends in unsolved murders in Massachusetts.
The recent string of senseless gun killings of innocent children and young adults by gunfire is more than just a short-term spike. Anyone who questions the role of guns in homicides by strangers or undentified assailants (the type that tend to be committed by street criminals as opposed to those involving family members or acquaintances) needs only to glance at the recent trends distinguished by weapon category. As shown in the figure below, gun homicides by strangers or unidentified perpetrators have doubled statewide since 2000, while those carried out with all other weapons have hardly changed.
The solution is twofold: First, pass House Bill 4102, which includes a series of measures designed to reduce illegal gun trafficking without violating the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. Most importantly, the bill would make Massachusetts the fifth state (joining Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and California) to implement a one-gun-a-month limit on purchasers, although with reasonable exemptions such as for law enforcement, military and security personnel. Second, encourage Maine and New Hampshire to do the same.
Of course, H. 4102 bill would only curtail shady transactions from Massachusetts gun dealers, and do nothing to stop the flood of illegal weapons from other states. Based on 2009 ATF trace data, 60% of guns associated with criminal activities within Massachusetts come from other states, most commonly New Hampshire and Maine. Years ago, Virginia was a major source of guns trafficked throughout the East Coast, including the Bay State; yet, according to an analysis of ATF trace reports, that stream largely dried up in 1993 when Virginia passed its one-a-month law.Waht's your opinion? Does the one-gun-a-month law have benefits after all?
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