I was asked a great question on a social media post on the campaign Facebook page. Why can anyone get a gun in poor neighborhoods, but it’s more difficult in white suburban neighborhoods? Guns are obviously not being manufactured in our poor neighborhoods so they’re being brought in illegally. How can we stop this?
We need a two pronged attack that goes after supply and demand. There are limited things we can do to reduce the supply. There will need to be State and Federal laws that focus on the manufacturing and selling of guns and ammunition. But there are some things City Council can do legislatively to help.
- Pass a law that mandates guns have locks and they be secured. The town of Brighton just did this.
- Require that owners tell police when guns are lost or stolen. If we give immunity to those who report illegal guns, it would help. (There may be Federal implications in this. We’ll have to check.)
- If they aren’t already, we should ban assault weapons in the city limits. But to be honest, most shootings in the City are with handguns.
- Pass a law that requires anyone who has a domestic violence charge or order of protection must immediately surrender their guns and ammo until both are resolved.
- Most importantly, we need to set up a permanent gun buy-back program.
As I’ve said before, more police will not stop gun violence (or crime in general). It’ll will at best postpone violence or just move it to another neighborhood. What we must do is focus on resolving the economic inequity that has existed in Rochester since we’ve been a city.
It’s difficult for people to value human life if they have no hope; if they see no future for themselves. Slogans and one-time events will not have an effect. What will have an effect is:
- The creation of hundreds of local, worker-owned businesses in residential neighborhoods with an emphasis on urban agriculture and grocery stores. (platform plank coming)
- A more systemic inclusion of Restorative Justice in law enforcement and in our schools.
- City Council using their influence to have single payer health care passed in New York.
- Making sure everyone has access to safe, affordable housing.
I will support and propose legislation to implement all of these ideas.