By Phil Goldsmith
One of the problems in discussing the gun problem that impacts so much of our society -- from urban streets to small towns to even NBA locker rooms -- is that people want to discuss solutions as if they are mutually exclusive.
Pro-gun, anti-gun. Pro Second Amendment, anti-Second Amendment. Pro-enforcement, pro-gun control.
In his three-part series in Metropolis on
At CeaseFirePA, we are strong supporters of such measures. But we also advocate for better handgun safeguards in
We aren't pro-gun or anti-gun. We are for safer communities and believe that both tougher enforcement and closing loopholes in our gun laws are compatible solutions.
Did you know that a terrorist on the government's watch list could walk into any gun shop in
But we also believe that there should be more Gun Violence Task Forces established throughout the Commonwealth.
Spread the good work
What's lacking with the Gun Task Force is the money to make it even more effective and to replicate it in other jurisdictions. As the state's budget woes increased, the amount of money for the Task Force was slashed, so it remains a Philadelphia-only initiative.
More money for more task forces throughout the state should be a campaign issue for gubernatorial candidates this year as they come asking for our money and votes
As these candidates travel around the state, they should also know there is a sea change underway in
And CeaseFirePA is going toe-to-toe with the NRA in local communities and beating it as we seek passage of laws that require handgun owners to tell the police when they know their guns have been lost or stolen.
Since CeaseFirePA started its local lost-and-stolen campaign about a year ago, 23 municipalities have approved such a measure -- not just large cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but also Allentown, Reading, Norristown, Erie, Harrisburg, Lancaster, York Aliquippa, Munhall, Braddock and Wilkinsburg, to name a few..
And why not?
Our public opinion polls reveal that 96 percent of Pennsylvanians favor such a common- sense measure. A recent national poll conducted by Frank Luntz, a conservative pollster, reported that 78 percent of NRA members and 88 percent of gun owners were also in favor.
Still, our representatives in
The majority of citizens want common-sense measures, whether it be tougher enforcement and collaboration among local, federal and state law enforcement officials or better gun safeguards, such as requiring the reporting of guns when lost or stolen.
Crime and homicides are trending down in
Its 2009, the homicide rate in
Now, if our
Phil Goldsmith is the President of the Board of CeaseFirePA.