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New York City will average less than two murders a day in 2012. The NYPD credits Stop, Question and Frisk. Perhaps it played a role, but it's not the only factor. Let's not forget the neighborhood patrols that launched during this particularly violent summer. A criminal is more likely to change his ways because of a friend or family member than anything else.
The NYPD reported 414 murders in the five boroughs through Christmas Eve, 94 fewer than the same time last year. New York City is on pace to break 2009's record low of 471 homicides. Police credit the controversial "Stop, Question and Frisk" policy for getting illegal guns off the streets.
Meantime, a shooting upstate on Christmas Eve has stirred the national gun violence debate. Police near Rochester say a former convict killed his sister, then set fires to lure unsuspecting firefighters. William Spengler allegedly shot four of them, two fatally. The gun the shooter used is the same type of semiautomatic rifle used at Sandy Hook elementary school.
What's your reaction to the shooting in upstate New York? Is it further proof that a ban on semiautomatic rifles is needed? Why do you think the murder rate in New York City is lower than years past? How safe do you feel living here?
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NYC already has strict gun laws. I don't know about NYS. However the 62 yr old male shooter in Rochester, NY was a felon parolee. The reinstitution of the 2004 ban on assault weapons nationwide may be a good thing. However the government looking into making a nationwide data base for all who are mentally ill is (1) an invasion of our privacy and freedom, and (2) it will undoubtedly lead to a ...similar scenario that is reminisence of Hitler euthanizing all the mentally ill. How would any government have a list of all those without mandating it. So all those with situational depression, anxiety, eating disorders, obesity, bulimina, anorexia, bipolar, down's syndrome, autism, narcissitic borderline personality disorders, and the list goes on. And it is in my professional opinion that every family has someone that would fit in the list. Oddly enough, the only ones able to fight off this preposterous idea, would be the hoodlums with illegal guns. Talk about poetic justice. WOW!
Dongan Hills, S.I., NY
The incident in upstate New York where a deranged maniac deliberately set fire to his home to lure firefighters there so he could shoot them with automatic weapons is yet again another compelling reason for the NRA to stop all of its rhetoric and to be willing to sit down with the President,the Congress and gunshop owners across the country to attempt to find a mutually agreeable solution to how to significantly reduce violence with guns,especially those weapons that are deadly assault weapons across the country.Those 4 brave firefighters responded to that fire,only to be shot down like defenseless animals,and 2 of them died ,with the other 2 severely injured.The madness with guns needs to be stopped ,or at the very least significantly reduced. The message to the NRA and Congress: Stop all of the rhetoric and get down to work ,and come up with a solution to this very serious issue,an issue that is not going to go away.
Fresh Meadows, NY
The upstate shooting proves that criminals and psychos should not have guns. And that innocent, sane people should not be disarmed by gun control maniacs and politicians seeking votes.
Port Richmond, SI
Every poll these New York politicians take are always about them. It's so obvious. What happened to Sharpton? He had everyone during the summertime standing on street corners vowing to stop the violence and meanwhile he just gets on another gravy train to do nothing other than try to make himself look good. As for this shooting up-state it had absolutely nothing to do with the semi-automatic rifles. The persons including the politicians are responsible for even letting this guy out. Why would he get out in such a short time? [All involved in my estimation are fully responsible and should be held fully responsible for this kind gesture instead of blaming the NRA] I have a question about this stop, question and frisk. This I guess could be asked of Ray Kelly and what I would like to know is if Kelly orders a trace on whether it be stop, question and frisk or buy back weapons. How come that issue is never addressed. I know there are no questions asked when they have a buy back but we still have to deal with the SQF. [JUST CURIOUS]
Thank you John,
Webster's xmas eve tragedy only emphasizes not only the assault weapons issue but a serious lack of oversight on mental health issues. Why was this obviously homicidal insane person deemed safe to be let loose on society? Looks like psychiatric medicine needs to catch up.
Jimmy from the Bronx.
The second amendment was ratified at a time when the 'right to bear arms' meant the right to have a community militia to defend against a colonizer or invader with a musket. I'm pretty sure the founding fathers didn't intend for this to mean the 'right for every individual to walk around with a semi-automatic firearm.'
Besides, you don't always know who's unstable or mentally ill and likely to go on a shooting spree so restricting access to guns is the only way to prevent such violent shootings from ever occurring.
Monica in Astoria
I believe having guns in schools is ridiculous. What is that saying about our country. 30, 000 murders and suicides a year. England has more murders cause by stabbings than guns. Either get rid of all guns or let everyone bare arms. That would make anybody think twice if everyone was carrying
We dont need to worry about the end of the world, we are killing each other
Carmen, Bay Ridge
Assault rifles are fully automatic machine guns which are not available to the public. All guns are lethal. NYC is not safe. NYC has the most number of murders, rapes, and assaults in the country.
Modern sporting rifles aka Assault Rifles are needed. They are used for hunting, competition and self defense. The second amendment has nothing to do with hunting. Hunting is a privilege not a right.
Assault rifles with light recoil, increased accuracy and higher capacity are ideal for small statured people like women who may need many rounds to stop multiple intruders as found in modern home invasions.
Bloomberg criticized the NRA for suggesting that each school have a police officer assigned. NYC already has 320 armed police officers in schools. Some even have metal detectors.
Honestly what's next ... I applied for a handgun permit in NYC and was denied after spending a stupid amount of $ .... The bad guys have them , why can't I do it the legal way and protect my family . I was never convicted of anything and don't even have a parking ticket ! The NYPD just makes more and more off it every year . It's a joke ! This guy at sandy hook watched violent movies and played war games on x box and playstation... And his computer ... Are we going to ban all of those ..... It's a joke !!!! People a rare few kill people and people usually see it coming and do nothing ..... Not guns .
Police officers should lead by example and only use weapons as a last resort. Let the fists do the talking. Real men use "fists".
Kenny from Greenwich Village
Although I feel safe...you have to admit the gun violence has risen more now since the 80's...when it comes to gun violence in NYC...I felt my most safest..when JULIANI was MAYOR!!!
MCGRIFF FROM BROOKLYN
Hey Guys LOVE your show.
This is a complex issue. The harsh reality is NO amount of gun regulation will change these types of crimes. With existing tech you can "print" these types of weapons in your garage. Its a cultural issue that has more to do with mental heath than gun control. Our culture loves violence, I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often.
We don't have unlimited free speech. By the same token, we need not have unlimited second amendment rights. It is only sensible to require a two day class, background check and two day waiting period to buy a gun. We currently require much more effort to get a drivers license than to get a gun. Also, assault weapons should be banned.
Schools are the most vulnerable, and speaking as an administrator in a NYC school, I am very worried. I would love to see armed personnel in our nation's schools and deeply believe people would think twice before attempting to kill more of our babies.
Also believe that all first response professionals be armed, including but not limited to firefighters and EMT workers. Of course, arming these people require high levels of training
I find it amazing that a crazy person can do such destruction and killings and your callers are blaming a gun. Is there no responsibility on the person? The mental health? the movies? A convicted murderer burns homes and people, and they blame a gun? I guess the gun makes them do it? Remember, there were millions of LEGAL gun owners that obeyed the law, and continue to obey the law. The guy that said he hunted for 30 years and never fired more than once is a great shot! Better than anyone I know. None of the weapons were “machine” guns.
Due to budget cuts a lot of the quality of life programs were canceled. We need to bring these programs back.
You can't necessarily correlate stricter gun control laws and the murder rate. You should also report the overall violent crime rate ( rapes, assualts robberies, murders, etc) as an indicator of how truly safe NYC is. Citizens should be allowed to arm and protect themselves from criminals who do not respect the rule of law. The outcry from gun control advocates is due to the ban of assault rifles being a stepping stone to seize all guns including handguns.
Just because one individual abuses any of our protected rights under the Constitution shouldn't mean the rest of us should lose those individual rights. Out of fear, the public should not be supporting Obama banning guns by executive order, bypassing Congress. That is what dictators do.
my name is Brett. I live in Brooklyn and grew up in upstate NY. I was raised in a gun-owning home. My father is in fact a riflesmith and lifelong NRA member. I have always tried to find a middle ground between my liberal morality and my father's staunch support of the right wing gun lobby. I believe strongly that the right to own firearms is a fundamental part of this countries freedoms. It is an indisputable fact that the first thing evry fascist regime or totalitarian dictatorship begins by the deprivation of the populous's ability to defend itself. And while we may find that concept anachronistic it doesnt make it any less true. I cannot understand why those on either side of this debate havent been able to take even the smallest steps toward a common sense solution to the rapidly multiplying phenomenon of mass killings. An assault weapons ban should be a foregone conclusion. but there doesnt seem to be any consensus on what an assault weapon is. My father always warned of the slippery slope when it came to gun control. He doesnt own any assaut weapons and to my knowledge has no desire to. The solutions seems so obvious. The tragedy of events like Newtown is further compounded by the fact that instead of shining a light on the avenues of compromise it further polarizes those on opposite sides of the issue.
Criminals, as a rule, don’t get concealed carry permits. They don’t care about the law. They draw out a weapon to commit a crime.
Law-abiding citizens with a gun at home and concealed carry permit holders, as a rule, don’t commit violent crimes. The permit holders don’t want to lose the right to have or carry a gun.
A person who has a carry permit who draws a weapon does so to stop a crime in progress. They avoid situations that would lead to a confrontation. They don’t carry in order to commit crime.
I GUESS IF YOU ARE VISITING TIME SQUARE YOU SHOULD FEEL PRETTY SAFE WITH THE ARMY OF COPS THAT ARE ASSIGN THERE BUT TRY WALKING AROUND THE OUTER BOROUGHS ESPECIALLY AROUND THE PROJECTS.
People have spoken about how mental illness and only criminals with guns are the problem. I think, though, that the fact that crime in NYC is lower (vs horrific massacres like Sandy Hook) show that stronger gun regulation is key. Assuming the stats are correct, gun violence here, with illegal guns, is down. But those innocent lives in Connecticut were lost due to an assault weapon that was, inexplicably, purchased legally.
Justifying the sale of semi-automatic weapons by the NRA based on the Second Amendment is absurd. Even for hunting the use of these weapons is ridiculously unfair for the game. The world is mesmerized and appalled by our backwardness.
If the NRA gets what it wants--armed guards in every school, every mall, every building, and a gun strapped to everyone's waist--then we would be living in the very definition of a police state. Logically, the less guns you have, then the less guns that can be used to commit violent acts. Restore the assault weapons ban and let cities strictly limit gun use if they want. Those are small steps to keep both people and our freedom safe.
Lower East Side
The murder rate in NYC can directly be attributed to illegal drugs not being as popular as in the 80's and 90's, if the illegal drug money existed, there would be lots of murders, nypd would love to take credit for this decline, but NYC as a whole is drastically changing due to its diversity, especially in Harlem and areas bordering manhattan.
No, I do not believe that all guns should be banned. Assault rifles should not be sold for private use in homes. Anyone who wants to legally own a firearm should be allowed to do so as long as they are licensed and qualified by law. The issue of wrongful police shootings should be addressed with the same intensity as illegal possession of guns.
Kevin, Canarsie Brooklyn.
A important point in regards to what guns where used in the incident..the truth is that, there was only hand-guns where found inside the school. He never even used the bushmaster ar 15 it it was found in his car, this should be taking into consideration.. why is information not being reported in the media ?
Alcohol & texting while driving cause more injuries & death, should alcohol & cell phones be banned also?
I think that it is imperative that we keep the STOP, QUESTION, & FRISK Policy going, and we Urgently need to BAN All Guns not just SEMIAUTOMATIC Rifles.. In my opinion, ONLY Police Officers, Correction Officers, and any Law Enforcement Personnel, and ofcourse our Military Personnel, should Be the ONLY Ones allowed to have GUNS for the safety of our Society.